Top 13 Active & Passive Pain Management Tips

By Med-Fit UK Content Team UK  .  Last Updated Thursday, 11th February 2021

Pain Management Techniques:

Pain management comes in various forms. Some techniques include following a regular exercise routine. But in some cases, meeting a pain specialist can better pain reduction.

Do you know the pain management techniques can be further classified into two major treatments?

Pain management techniques can be classified into two major treatments - Active and Passive. Some may find active pain management helpful while some passive techniques can help in pain reduction. Ideally, the right balance of both techniques can provide you with better pain relief.

Active Pain Management:

Active pain management involves active participation. The pain sufferer has to participate in any kind of pain-relieving or managing activity. Most active pain management can soothe the pain for the long term.

Back pain, one of the kinds of chronic pain, can be cured with active pain management. You can lift some weight from your back/spine. This helps in strengthening the core and reducing back pain.

There are numerous ways one can perform to get relief from pain. Here are some effective active pain management techniques to benefit the sufferer.

Techniques of Active Pain Management:

  • Yoga: Yoga is the most effective drug-free treatment which strengthens the body both mentally and physically. Practicing any of them can help you improve:

  • Body Stamina,

  • Strength,

  • Balance,

  • Coordination, and

  • Flexibility.

Together these can help in pain reduction and relief. It can also help in mental relaxation and stress management.

  • Exercise: This might seem tricky to some as chronic pain can make your exercise routine difficult. But slowly and gradually, as your body cultivates this habit, you can see improvisation. It is effective in reducing pain and keeping the pain levels lower. For instance, regular walking or running can give notable benefits in joint management and pain reduction.

  • Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation can be both mental and physical. Mental relaxation can be in the form of guided imagination or meditation. Physical or muscle relaxation might not be counted as active pain management. But can effectively reduce tension. It requires the individual to think and perform movements for body relaxation.

  • Breathing Techniques: Besides Yoga and Exercise, there are some deep breathing techniques that reduce pain. They provide relaxation to the body. These techniques can provide peace to the mind, which helps in reducing stress and pain flare-ups.

  • Active Distraction: This technique is not well known to remove pain, but it can lessen the pain. It distracts the body from the pain signals can provide a temporary sense of relief. Some people can think of something calming or pleasurable to get relief from pain.

  • Stretching Exercises: Stretching exercises can help in the betterment of the pain levels, depending on the type and cause of pain. You can start with the simple stretching in the beginning and increase the level later.

  • Strengthening Exercises: Generally, exercises with strength training involve consultation from your doctor. But it is important to avoid the pain over injured parts or regain normal body function. For instance, to improve spine support and provide relief from back pain.

Passive Pain Management Techniques

Passive pain management, as the name implies, does not require any active participation of the patient. Generally, it is an action performed by someone else like a physician on behalf of the patient. During this treatment, the patient does not need to invest his energy. Most passive pain management treatments can help the sufferer fight pain. However, it provides relief for the short term.

Some of the best methods falling under this category are:

Here are some effective passive pain management techniques for pain reduction and relief.

  • Hot or Cold Compress: You can apply heat packs in the form of hot water bags to get relief from back pain, shoulder pain or spinal pain. In some cases, a cold compression packs can also provide relief. You can place ice packs in the form of ice cubes over the affected area.

  • Medical Massage Treatments: This includes a deep tissue massage. It soothes the soft muscle tissues and helps in quick healing.

  • Ultrasound: Here, heat is applied to the deep layers of tissue to provide relief against a kind of pain. Ultrasound Machines have been known to be an effective means of pain managament treatment. 

  • Chiropractic Adjustments: The chiropractic adjustments can help reduce pain. It is a safe treatment unless performed by a trained chiropractor or a licensed center. Depending on the type and source of pain an individual suffers from, they can undergo spinal realignment treatments.

  • TENS Machine: TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) unit can help you relieve pain in the most efficient way. It sends the electrical signals which interrupt the pain signals to reach the brain. Thus, providing a sense of relief over the affected area. Apart from this, you will find many benefits of tens machine.

    You should use the TENS unit under the supervision of a physiotherapist. You can also buy a TENS device to use at home. Women should avoid the use of a TENS device during pregnancy.
  • Acupuncture: Another passive pain management technique is acupuncture. It is an ancient Chinese drug-free treatment. It provides relief from joints pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. In acupuncture, thin, sterile needles are inserted over the body areas.

Here are some pain-relieving medications such as:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Over The Counter (OTC) Pain Relievers
  • Opioids
  • Nerve Pain Medications

Other possible treatment methods: 

  • Cortisone: Cortisone injections, pills, or steroids can help reduce pain. The injections are injected into swollen joints or painful areas to reduce the level of pain. One can also intake steroids under the supervision of your doctor. Before undertaking this, you should consult your physician or doctor.
  • Hypnosis: This is similar to Active Distraction pain management treatment. It helps in reducing pain and the need for other types of treatments. Hypnosis can help you reduce the need for active treatments like medications.


As you know, to get pain relief or reduce the levels of pain, you need to undergo pain-relieving treatments. However, this depends on the plan your doctor or physician advice. Depending on the kind of pain, you can undergo the active techniques or the passive ones.

For quick and healthy relief, you should mix both to get the best of both. This can help you increase the quality of life. You should also add exercising or practicing Yoga or meditation to your daily routine for a healthy and quality life.

For acute or uncontrollable pain, do not hesitate to consult a pain management specialist or a doctor.