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Distraction is a way to relieve pain by focusing the mind on something other than pain. With distraction, a person’s mind is busy paying attention to something other than pain, which can make pain more tolerable.
People can distract themselves with activities such as:
Distraction can be helpful for dealing with pain at any level. It can be used alone for pain that is mild or with strong medicines for severe pain. It can help while a person is waiting for medicine to start working.
Some people may not find that distraction is helpful. If it leaves them feeling tired, irritable, or in more pain, they should find another way to deal with pain.
Last Revised: October 28, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Michael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology
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