Self-help resources for pain management 

As with any form of pain management, different resources or techniques will suit different people.  Please remember that you may need to try out more than one book, CD or website before you find something which is helpful for you.

 Mindfulness Based Pain Management Meditations - audio files


For pain
‘Explain Pain’ – Lorimer Moseley and David Butler (Sunyata publisher).
‘Manage your Pain: Practical and positive ways of adapting to chronic pain’ - Michael Nicholas, Allan Molloy, Lois Tonkin and Lee Beetson (Souvenir Press, 2003).
‘Overcoming Chronic Pain’ – Frances Cole, Helen Macdonald, Catherine Carus and Hazel Howden-Leach (Robinson Publishing, 2005).
‘Coping Successfully with Pain’ – Neville Shone (Sheldon Press, 2002).  The author of this book has chronic pain.
‘Pain – the Science of Suffering (Maps of the mind)’ – Patrick Wall (Columbia University Press, 2002).  This book is a more technical account of pain and pain mechanisms.
For pelvic pain
‘A Headache in the Pelvis’ – David Wise and Rodney U. Anderson (National Center for Pelvic Pain Research, 2010).  The author of this book suffers from chronic pelvic pain.   Although expensive, some patients find this book is extremely helpful.
‘Heal Pelvic Pain’ – Amy Stein (McGraw-Hill, 2008).  This book is by a physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic pain.  Although the term ‘Heal’ is misleading, it contains useful advice on activity and building up physical conditioning, which can be incorporated into the pain management techniques learnt on the Link programme.
For back pain
‘The Back Book’ – Royal College of General Practitioners and the NHS Executive (authors: Martin Roland, Gordon Waddell, Jennifer Klaber-Moffett, Kim Burton & Chris Main; 2002 Edition).  This is a very concise book on managing back pain. 
For a mindful approach to managing pain and mood
‘Full Catastrophe Living: How to cope with Stress, Pain and Illness using Mindfulness Meditation’ – John Kabat-Zinn (Piatkus Books, 2001).
‘Living well with pain and illness: The mindful way to free yourself from suffering’ – Vidymala Burch (Piatkus Books, 2008).  There is also a CD available on Amazon which accompanies this book.
For low mood
‘Overcoming Depression: A guide to recovery with a complete self help programme’ – Paul Gilbert (Robinson Publishing, 2009).  This book is based on the cognitive-behavioural (CBT) model, and an be used with feelings of low mood as well as clinical depression.
‘Mind over Mood: Change how you feel by changing the way you think’ - Christine Padesky and Dennis Greenberger (Guildford Publications, 1995  This CBT-based book can be used for low mood and anxiety.
For anxiety and worry
‘Overcoming Anxiety’ – Helen Kennerley (Robinson Publishing, 2009).  Self-help techniques for worry and anxiety, based on the CBT model.
‘Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness – Gillian Butler (Robinson Publishing, 2009).

CD’s & MP3 downloads

For pain

‘Living with Chronic Pain’ – Neil Berry.  Information on various aspects of pain management, including sleep, goal-setting, medication and relaxation techniques.  This is available to download for free at, or you can buy the CD from the same website.
For low mood and/ or anxiety
‘Beating the Blues’ – Ultrasis.   Self-help treatment based on the cognitive-behavioural (CBT) model, for those with low mood or anxiety problems, and which has been recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence.  This resource is only available through the NHS, for example via your GP.  More information is available at


For pain – this website is run by the DIPEx charity and is based on qualitative research into patients’ experiences of health conditions.  It contains medical and treatment information, and accounts of patient’s experiences of various health conditions, including chronic pain.  It has video clips as well as written content. – the British Pain Society website.  Helpful information section for patients with pain conditions, and details of various support groups, including guidance supported by available evidence on clinical and other pain matters. – the Pain Relief Foundation website.  Information leaflets on pain management can be downloaded or ordered from the website. – provides support for those with pain and their carers, and has factsheets and leaflets on different aspects of chronic pain and self-management.  It also contains Airing Pain, a series of regular podcasts on living with pain, which can be downloaded for free. – a practical guide to self-management of chronic pain, with a detailed ‘toolkit’ which can be printed out.  Also available in French, German and Italian.
For back pain – specifically for people with lower back and general back pain.  There is a forum and helpline available, as well as useful information on back pain and care.

For fibromyalgia – information on fibromyalgia and how to manage the condition, and details of local support groups and helplines within your area.
For arthritis – Arthritis Research UK (formerly the Arthritis Research Campaign) website.  Contains a very helpful section called ‘Arthritis Information’ with information on various aspects of arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions including hypermobility and fibromyalgia, as well as low back pain. – Arthritis Care website.  A website specifically for patients with lots of information on different arthritis related conditions, as well as a forum with trained workers, and a helpline.  There is also information on local support groups.
For pelvic pain – the Pelvic Pain Support Network provides information, plus a message forum for members where they can find support and ask advice of other members of the public.    Conditions covered include endometriosis, vulval pain, prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. 
For vulval pain – the Vulval Pain Society provides information and support for women suffering from vestibulodynia and vulvodynia.  It is a confidential service for women who suffer from vulval pain.  It also has details of support groups which operate in London and other areas of the U.K. – information on vulvodynia by Dr Howard Glazer.

For endometriosis – this charity provides information and support on many aspects of endometriosis, from causes to treatment. There is also a telephone helpline run by trained volunteers.  Until 2006, the organisation was known as the National Endometriosis Society.
For loin pain haematuria syndrome – the National Kidney Federation website has useful information leaflets on loin pain-haematuria syndrome.
For low mood, anxiety, sleep difficulties and other problems – the National Association for Mental Health provides information on mental health difficulties.  The ‘Factsheets and booklets listed by subjects’ section contains free booklets on a wide variety of mental health issues, plus details of other resources and links to other useful organisations. – The Mental Health Foundation website provides information on the UK’s leading mental health research, and the ‘Publications’ section offers a number of useful publications for purchase or download.

 Patient leaflets

Which type of pain?
The research team
Managing chronic pain
Contact the clinical trials team