There's still a core you despite the pain.
What you can do
[Updated: 10/14/21 with new research link.]
People with chronic pain often do too much when they’re having good days and not
enough when they’re having bad days.
Pacing/moderation has become a common tool for people living with pain to help provide them with balance. It includes setting time limits, slowing down (start low, go slow), breaking up tasks, and taking frequent short breaks.
But be careful not to let pacing become an excuse for not being active or avoiding pain. Doing so can add more focus to the pain, worsen symptoms, and reduce physical stamina.
Pain doesn't mean harm. It's the result of an overly-protective system trying to protect itself. Our bodies become over-sensitized.
Pacing should instead be used to gradually increase what we can do, despite the pain.
The difference is in the goal and execution. Keep moving forward!
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Pain patient neuroscience education improves movement, lowers pain ratings, decreases disability, and reduces catastrophization.
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What is the biopsychosocial model of medicine and why is it important to pain treatment and recovery?
We’re more than our bodies. Yet, we’ve been typically treating chronic pain only from a biological perspective – potentially missing two-thirds of potential pain treatment.
Enter the biopsychosocial (BPS) model introduced by Dr. George Engel in 1977.
This model of medicine stresses a holistic look at the experience of chronic pain. It not only looks at the biological factors (injury, tissue damage, etc.) but also how our emotional well-being and our social situation influence how we’re affected by chronic pain.
Learn more about the biopsychosocial model:
I see too many books, websites, products, and services claiming to magically solve chronic pain. Chronic pain by its name is chronic – it lasts a long time. While there is hope for recovery, there aren’t any miracle treatments.
Beware of claims that:
Pain is biopsychosocial. To get the best treatment possible, all three elements of pain – biological, psychological, and social – need to be considered and addressed using a multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary approach.
Instead of looking for a quick fix, focus on managing the pain using tools like cognitive restructuring, distraction, deep breathing, and exercise to break the cycle of pain.
Chronic Pain Champions is an information resource/blog/support group to help chronic pain patients, their families, and friends, as well as healthcare professionals. Learn more about this site and the author.
Chronic Pain Champions