Coping strategies for pain

Discover some coping strategies you can use during a JIA flare-up. These strategies can help reduce pain by changing the way your pain signals are being sent to and from your brain.

Key points

• Relaxation can make you feel more in control and less anxious or tense.
• Distraction can help make your body become more relaxed and allow pleasant thoughts to push out the stress you feel due to your pain.
• You can reduce your stress or tension by changing some of your thinking habits.

Coping strategies are very effective ways of dealing with pain and increasing your ability to do things. These strategies involve changing the way you think, feel and behave in response to pain. These methods provide the longest lasting changes because they help your body’s own pain control system to work the best. Practicing these methods over time can help change the way your pain signals are being sent to and from your brain.

It is important to use these strategies during a JIA flare-up. Use them before the pain gets out of control and combine them with other methods.

You may already know some of these methods and you will learn more throughout the treatment program.


Relaxation can help reduce your pain. Relaxation can also make you feel more in control and less anxious or tense. In the section Relaxation,” you will learn about ways to relax. You might even be able to get more relaxed than you have ever been before.


Distraction is a great technique to use when you are in pain but want to be able to do an activity. For example, using your imagination is a great way to distract yourself. It is like daydreaming except you are doing it on purpose. When you think of something you like, your body becomes more relaxed, and the stress you feel due to your pain is pushed out by pleasant thoughts. In the section Distraction, you will learn about effective ways to distract yourself.

Changing the way you think

You can reduce your stress or tension by changing some of your thinking habits. The section titled Becoming aware of your thoughts, will provide tips on how you can change less helpful thoughts into helpful ones.


Welcome to the Taking Charge: Managing JIA Online Program! In this section you will learn what to expect in the program, how to get started and how to set goals to better manage JIA.

JIA stands for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Find out what causes JIA, the different types of JIA and how it will affect you now and in the future.

Diagnosing JIA may be difficult as joint pain and swelling may be a part of many different illnesses. Diagnosis of JIA typically includes a physical exam, blood tests and imaging studies.

Pain, stiffness, and tiredness or fatigue, are common symptoms of JIA. These symptoms can lead to difficulties with participating in school and sports activities, and enjoying time with your friends. Learn about pain, fatigue, and stiffness, how to manage symptoms and how these symptoms can cause stress.

There are several strategies you can use to help you cope with pain, stress, and sleep problems. These include relaxation, distraction, and managing your thoughts. In this section, learn more about how each of these strategies work.

When you know about your medications, you can talk to your doctor about them and make good choices for yourself. Find out about the different types of JIA medications, how they work, common side effects, and the importance of talking to your doctor about your medication plan.

Did you know that there are many other therapies that you can use to manage JIA symptoms? They can help to prevent complications so that you can do all the things you want to do. In this section, learn more about physical, occupational, and psychological therapies; maintaining healthy nutrition; surgical options for JIA, and more.

Your role in making decisions about your treatment plan is very important. Your health-care team and other members of your support system are available to help you make these decisions. In turn, they can help you to manage your JIA.

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