Pain Management

Why Is Pacing So Important When Pain and Fatigue Are Present With Chronic Conditions?

Written by Carron Manning, Co-Founder of Chiron and Chartered Physiotherapist MSc BSc MCSP

What is pacing? 

Maybe you already know what pacing is, (REMINDER: an activity management technique for managing long-term health conditions, working to maximise what you can do while reducing/controlling symptoms) …but do you know why it’s so important to someone with chronic pain and fatigue? 

Pacing is crucial for these individuals, and you, because it helps manage and conserve energy, allowing you to engage in daily activities while minimising the risk of exacerbating symptoms of chronic conditions. 

Why is pacing your activities so important? 

Here are several reasons why pacing is important for people with chronic pain and fatigue, and specifically fibromyalgia: 

Energy Conservation

Pacing involves balancing activities and rest to prevent the depletion of energy reserves. By avoiding overexertion and distributing activities throughout the day, individuals can better manage their limited energy levels, reducing the impact of fatigue. 

Symptom Management

Overexertion and pushing beyond one's limits can worsen symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and overall discomfort. Pacing helps individuals identify and respect their physical limitations, reducing the likelihood of symptom flare-ups.

Prevention of "Boom and Bust" Cycles

Some individuals with chronic conditions may experience a pattern of excessive activity followed by a period of extreme fatigue. Pacing helps break this cycle by promoting a more consistent and sustainable level of activity, preventing the extremes of overexertion and the exhaustion that follows.

Improved Functionality

By pacing activities, individuals can maintain a more stable level of functionality. This can contribute to a better ability to perform daily tasks, maintain independence, and participate in social and recreational activities.

Enhanced Quality of Life

Pacing allows individuals to allocate their energy wisely, enabling them to engage in meaningful activities without experiencing a significant decline in well-being. This, in turn, can lead to an improved overall quality of life.

Mental Well-Being

Chronic pain and fatigue often take a toll on mental health. Pacing helps individuals manage their conditions in a way that reduces stress, anxiety, and frustration associated with the unpredictability of symptoms.

Long-Term Sustainability

Pacing is a long-term strategy that supports the sustainability of daily activities. It helps individuals avoid the risk of pushing themselves too hard, which could result in setbacks and prolonged recovery periods.


Pacing is a key component of self-management in chronic conditions. It empowers individuals to take an active role in their care by learning to adapt their daily activities to their energy levels, making it a valuable skill for long-term health management.

So, why pacing for chronic pain and fatigue?

In summary, pacing is essential for individuals with chronic pain and fatigue as it promotes a balanced approach to daily activities, prevents symptom exacerbation, and contributes to better overall physical and mental well-being.  

By choosing Chiron, you are taking another active step in the self-management of your fibromyalgia. We are proud to be cheerleaders and supporters as you navigate challenges effectively and efficiently.