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True or False: Investigating Myths About Pain

Making assumptions about another person's painful condition can actually be harmful to them. Not everyone knows how it feels to live with a chronic condition, and even individuals that do live with a condition don't know another person's experience living with the same condition. Here are a few common myths about chronic pain and why we should be careful not to believe them.

1. You can tell when someone is living with chronic pain

Some individuals who suffer from chronic conditions or chronic pain have symptoms that are visible to an onlooker. Others however, can go undetected. There are millions of people around the world who are silent fighters of chronic pain symptoms. Some individuals have even been openly challenged for parking in a disability parking space if they do not appear to be impaired to onlookers. This ignorance makes a chronic pain sufferer's day-to-day challenges even more exhausting as they battle the judgement and perceptions of others.

2. Only older people deal with chronic pain

Chronic pain does not discriminate. People of different ages, genders, and races can all be afflicted with painful symptoms. Many young people are treated as if their painful symptoms could not possibly be chronic. Toni Bernhard, an author of How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide, shared the story of a young woman with multiple sclerosis that was spit on for not giving up her seat to an older person on the subway. It is ignorant to assume that if a person is "too young" or "too healthy looking" that they could not possibly be living with a painful condition.

3. People with chronic pain can't remain active

Many chronic pain sufferers do not let their pain stop them from enjoying the things they love. In some cases, being active can help with painful symptoms. Exercise is crucial for people who suffer from arthritis. Physical activity can help stretch, strengthen, increase mobility, increase flexibility, and reduce joint pain. Other chronic conditions such as diabetes even rely on exercise to maintain good health for sufferers. Staying active is not only possible but encouraged for many pain sufferers.

4. People with chronic pain should always push themselves through the pain

Sufferers of chronic conditions and chronic pain often feel pressure to keep up with their responsibilities and at the pace that other people are operating at. Sometimes it is important to know when to slow down and listen to your body to prevent injury. You should never push yourself too far without acknowledging your limits.

5. Painkillers are the only effective way to reduce painful symptoms

Thanks to scientific research and technological innovations, we now have many natural and drug-free solutions for pain relief. People began to acknowledge the harmful effects of painkillers and started searching for alternatives that could be both safe and effective. Massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, and TENS therapy are just a few examples of treatments that are becoming increasingly popular for pain sufferers.

6. If the doctor has not diagnosed you, then it must be all in your head

Receiving a diagnosis is important and everyone who is experiencing concerning health problems should consult with a medical professional, but often people see many doctors and specialists before the proper diagnosis is delivered. Chronic pain is a legitimate health concern and should not be reduced to an “imaginary ailment”.

7. Chronic pain is a physical condition not a mental one

Dealing with pain every day takes a toll on both the physical body and the mental well-being of the sufferer. Individuals with chronic pain conditions are at a higher risk for developing mental disorders like depression or anxiety. Finding emotional support can be just as important as seeking out treatment for physical symptoms.

8. Chronic pain sufferers have to learn to live with constant pain

No one should have to go their entire lives without pain relief. It can be frustrating trying treatment after treatment without success, but many individuals eventually find treatments that work best for them. In the present day, our access to medical advancements has allowed many pain sufferers to walk away from their symptoms and live better, more pain-free lives. Treating chronic pain is possible and we have solutions!

DR-HO’S Journey to Help Reduce Pain

Dr. Michael Ho has over 20 years of experience working with patients who suffer from painful symptoms and conditions. After working with pain-sufferers so frequently Dr. Michael Ho made it his mission to provide these individuals with the means to find pain relief for a reasonable price right at home. The Pain Therapy System and Pain Therapy System Pro are TENS units that are both natural and effective. Learn more by downloading the Guide to Understanding Pain or click here to read the benefits of TENS units like the Pain Therapy System.

Sources:

  1. 2009 Wagner, Philip. Hospital for Special Surgery. “The Top 10 Myths of Chronic Pain.”
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