12 Quick Tips for Moving More

Northern Pain Centre is committed to giving patient’s practical steps for managing many of the challenges they face as a result of their pain.  Welcome to our 12 Quick Tips Series.



  1. Create a plan for your day (learn more about planning your day here)
  2. Set small daily goals (learn more about goal setting here)
  3. Break things down into smaller time-based chunks – use pacing strategies (learn more about pacing strategies here)
  4. Do a little bit often.
  5. Remember to stretch – dynamic before, static after (learn more about stretching here)
  6. Remember to take short, frequent rest breaks – think “spoon theory” (learn more about the “spoon theory” here)
  7. Manage flares – if it’s your “usual” pain.  General rule for flare management
    1. <12hrs maintain activity
    2. 24-48hrs modify activity
    3. 48hrs drop your activity by 50-75%. But, try to keep moving despite pain.
  8. Identify obstacles – work on overcoming them with your physiotherapist and doctor (learn more about common barriers to movement when living with pain here)
  9. Try different types of movement – tai chi, yoga, hydrotherapy, walking (learn more about different types of exercise for pain here)
  10. Use technology to keep track of your progress (learn more about using technology to track movement here)
  11. Stick with the plan – no more or less, this prevents boom and bust.
  12. Talk with your physiotherapist or doctor about pacing strategies, graded exposure, flare management and safe movement (learn more about these topics here)


Free Resources

  • Download your free Northern Pain Centre goal-setting worksheet here
  • Download your free Northern Pain Centre pacing plan worksheet here
  • Download your free Northern Pain Centre planning your day worksheet here


Read More Quick Tips


Learn more

If you are wanting to learn more about exercising and chronic pain, this section includes:

  • Pacing and goal setting resources
  • Pain physiotherapy resources
  • Exercise and healthy movement resources
  • Free Worksheets


Pacing and Goal Setting Resources

  • Article:  NPC: 12 Quick Tips for Introducing Pacing into Your Day (link)
  • Article:  NPC:  12 Quick Tips for Setting Goals with Chronic Pain (link)
  • Article:  NPC:  12 Quick Tips for Planning Your Day with Chronic Pain (link)
  • Article: PainHealth: Pacing and goal setting (link)
  • Article: APMA: Pacing Activity (link)
  • Factsheet: ACI: Pacing and Pain (link)
  • Factsheet: NHS: Pacing – how to manage your pain and stay active (link)
  • Factsheet: Mental Health: Activity pacing (link)
  • Factsheet: Psychology Tools: Pacing for Pain and Fatigue (link)


Pain Physiotherapy Resources

  • Article:  NPC:  Pain Physiotherapy (link)
  • Booklet: Making the most of physiotherapy (link)
  • Article: APMA: Physiotherapy (link)


Exercise and Healthy Movement Resources

  • Booklet: Australian Government: Choose Healthy, Be Healthy (link)
  • Article:  NPC:  Guide to Healthy Movement (link)
  • Article:  NPC: At Home Exercises for Chronic Pain (link)
  • Article:  NPC:  Active Self-Management: Living Well with Pain (link)
  • Article: APMP: Energy Management (link)
  • Article: APMP: Top Exercises for Lower Back Pain (link)
  • Article: ICP: Activity versus Exercise (link)
  • Article: PainHealth: Movement with Pain (link)
  • Article: Physiopedia: Exercise and Activity in Pain Management (link)
  • Article: Pathways:  Exercise with Chronic Pain: Your complete guide (link)
  • Factsheet:  ACI: Pain and Physical Activity (link)
  • Article: Active and Healthy: Find an exercise program (link)
  • Website: Get Healthy NSW: Free telephone-based health coaching (link)
  • Article: NHS: Improving health and fitness (link)
  • Free Online Course: PainTrainer (link)
  • Online Course: Permission to move (link)
  • Guidelines:  Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines (link)
  • Guidelines:  Choose Health: Be Active: A physical activity guide for older Australians (link)


Free Worksheets

  • Worksheet: NPC: SMART Goal Setting (link)
  • Worksheet: NPC: Planning your day (link)
  • Worksheet: NPC: Making a pacing plan (link)
  • Worksheet:  CCI:  Weekly Activity Schedule (link)
  • Worksheet:  CCI:  Weekly Goals Record (link)
  • Worksheet:  CCI:  Goal Setting Worksheet (link)
  • Worksheet:  TA:  Mental Health Benefits of Exercise (link)
  • Worksheet:  TA:  Goal Break Down (link)
  • Booklet: My Live Well with Pain: Goal Setting (link)
    • Worksheet: My Goal Ladder (link)
    • Worksheet: My SMART Goals (link)
  • Booklet: My Live Well with Pain: Pacing (link)
    • Worksheet: My Daily Pacing Plan (link)
    • Worksheet: My Activity Diary (link)
Images courtesy of Unsplash


Written by Aimee Carter