Misconceptions about chronic pain can get in the way of effectively treating or managing pain-related conditions. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about pain that have been perpetuated throughout the years. There are a lot of myths about pain, some with truth to them and some that are completely false. Chances are, you know someone who complains about their knee injury hurting when it’s raining outside. But is it a coincidence? Here are 6 popular theories on pain.
- Aches and pains are normal as you age.
Not necessarily. Sure, a few aches and pains are normal, but chronic pain doesn’t have to be a part of your everyday life as you get older. Consider seeking treatment if you are experiencing chronic pain.
- Losing weight can help chronic pain.
True. If you’re overweight, less weight on your body can mean less pressure on your joints, back, and hips. Discuss this with your doctor to come up with a health plan that’s right for you. Each pound of weight loss can reduce the knee joint load by four pounds.
- Weather affects pain.
True. When the weather changes, so does the barometric pressure of the atmosphere. Changes in barometric pressure can cause some people to have increased pain in their joints.
- The pain is all in your head if a medical cause can’t be found.
False. Just because medical professionals can’t find the exact cause of your pain, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The human body is complex, and there are times that alternative care is more effective at addressing certain causes of pain.
- You don’t need to worry about minor pain- just tough it out.
False. Never ignore pain, as it could evolve into something much worse that drastically affects your daily life. Consider seeking treatment if the pain lasts for more than a week or two.
- No pain, no gain.
False. There is no evidence that you can build strength by exerting muscles to the point of pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling us something is wrong and warning us to stop what we’re doing. Resting to repair muscles is the sensible things to do.
Many of these theories are perpetuated in the workplace when employees experience pain. You can discuss them with your employees to help dispel falsehoods. Having a discussion about these myths also can help get rid of stigmas surrounding chronic pain, especially pain that doesn’t have an apparent cause.