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For Teens & Young Adults

Strategies to Manage Pain

By in For Teens & Young Adults

Let’s face it, no one wants to inject themselves with a needle or prick their fingers with a lancet multiple times each day. Even changing pump infusion sites or CGM sensors can be painful or stressful. There are some ways to minimize the pain.

  • Numb the site or find a distraction: You can numb the area with ice or a numbing cream purchased over the counter or prescribed by your doctor. You can also use a product like Buzzy Bee to help distract you during injections and reduce discomfort.
  • Practice: If you are new to giving injections or inserting a pump site, practice on a stuffed animal or doll with an insulin needle and saline solution (your diabetes team can provide these supplies for you).  If you’re still experiencing pain, take note if some places seem to cause less discomfort than others.  You will still need to rotate injections, however.
  • Relax: Take a few deep breaths and relax any tense muscles before injecting. You could also count down before giving the injection to give yourself some time to mentally prepare.
  • Explore different infusion sets: You may find that a different infusion set may cause less pain. Talk to your medical team about your options.
  • Learn about alternate injection methods: If you do multiple daily injections, you could learn about other insulin delivery methods such as the insulin pump where you would insert a needle less frequently.

Sometimes you might not experience pain, but you may just need a break from doing injections yourself.  If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  A parent may be happy to do your injection for you.

If you have tried some of these strategies, but you are still experiencing pain, reach out to your diabetes care team for support.


Updated 5/30/20

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.


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