use it proactively, don't wait until you're really hurting. Take it on a time basis vs
. a need basis if the doctor says to, use adjuvant medications (try non-narcotic first, different drugs normally used for different purposes that seem to help chronic pain and give relief) and leave alcohol and other drugs alone. Also in the tool box are physical, mental, pleasure, work, communication, social and emotional things to use.
Pain is a very weird thing.