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Table 1 Tailoring to coping style

From: A tailored, dialogue-based health communication application for patients with chronic low back pain: study protocol of a randomised controlled trial

Coping type Adaptive coper Happy endurer Depressed endurer Depressed avoider
Description of coping style You go about your pain in a matter-of-fact manner. You know that, on one hand, there is no serious disease behind it but that, on the other hand, they can signal you physical strain. You are good at making short breaks at the right time in order to keep up your daily routine – maybe temporarily a little slower than usual. You tend to keep going in your daily routine even if pain is strong. This is, on one side, a personal strength. But at the same time you run the risk of actually straining your muscles, ligaments, joints and intervertebral discs. You are a multitasker. Saying “No” to someone or not getting things done is hard on you. In order to meet requirements and get things done you push yourself to your limits and beyond. Often you don´t listen to your body before it is overstrained. You are unsettled by your pain. You are worried that there might be a serious disease behind it, and / or you avoid activities that might increase the pain.
Take home message Keep on like that! Make exercise part of your routine if you haven´t done it yet. Choose something fun and back-friendly. If you strengthen your muscles and stick to your relaxing breaks the pain should vanish soon. Even if it´s hard: Try to pay more attention to your pain and get breaks early enough. Keep working, do things that are pleasant and fun, and keep moving – but remember to pause when you might need it! Reconsider what you are asking from yourself: Do you really have to demand so much? Maybe there are times when it is possible to leave something undone, do it o.k. instead of perfect, or ask for assistance. These things are closely related to your pain. Pain is unpleasant but not dangerous. Don´t let it suffocate you. Expand your limits step by step, and make pleasant activities a part of your everyday life.