The Pain Toolkit Quiz

#10 Have a setback plan

Is it unrealistic to not have a set back plan?

The simple answer is NO! Developing a set back plan is good pain self management. Ask your healthcare provider if you need help in making one if you are not sure.

Make a note of what triggered your set back and what helped. This could be useful information if and when you experience another. There is an example of a set back plan below.

Having a set back plan

It is not realistic to think that you will never have a set back ever again. Remember if you are an over achiever, it is easy to forget to pace yourself and in turn you may experience a set back! So the first thing not to do is panic, but many people do. It is best to have a set back plan if one occurs.

Set backs are usually caused by doing too much - overdoing it, pressure from others, or just forgetting you have a pain problem. Don’t get annoyed with yourself, it is common to occasionally have set backs.

If you are not sure how to prepare a set back plan ask your GP or health care professional for help.

What The Experts Say

Pete Says:
Yes we will experience setbacks. Why, because we are over-doers and want to keep up with others. It's always best to have setback plan when we have problems. Hear from others who have experienced setbacks here. View the video here about setbacks
Frances Says:
Plan for a setback, keep the plan somewhere easy to find and so use. Three things can help in a setback plan; (1.) reduce activities and fitness by 50% for a few days and still do some easy stretches and activities everyday (2.) Use more enjoyable and relaxation activities and find ways to be kind and supportive to yourself, postpone a meeting, take an extra break or watch a favorite comedy. (3.) Finding yourself in the up and down of a setback is a real hassle. So explore what makes a good plan and then keep ready and safe.
Bronnie Says:
Remember that taking a step back after taking a step forward isn't a disaster, it means you're doing the cha-cha! Sometimes setbacks happen because things are going really well so you forget to keep doing what works. Sometimes they happen because life took over (like Christmas, or you got the flu). Take a moment to work out your early warning signs, your high-risk times (when you might find it hard to use your skills), and the times when you want an immediate reward and forget the consequences. Then make a plan that you can use to get back on track. Keep it handy (on the fridge). And keep a "Can cope" card with some tips like "breathe out" and "it's be OK' and other quick ways to keep your cool in your wallet so you don’t have to think too hard during the tough times.
Linda Says:
My first setback was a real shock. A review of the run-up to the setback enabled me to see I'd let things slip and identify what I needed to do to bring myself back on track.
Mike Says:
Pain demands an explanation and whilst a greater understanding of the distress that pain often brings can be of great help, it is also important to plan for any future flare-ups. It is normal to experience periods of increased sensitivity and it's helpful to have a setback plan to help you stay in control. Remember: even if you stumble, you’re still moving forward! Here’s an advice sheet about what to do during a flare-up.
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