Should we be aiming to be completely pain free?

Where pain free goals might be falling short

We get it.

You want your pain gone.

And that makes total sense!

No one asks to be in pain, and our initial reaction to pain is (of course) to get rid of it as quick as we can.

But when pain lingers it can get harder and harder to find ways for it to go away. In some cases, it seems the more we rest lingering pain and the more we try to avoid it, the more pain we find ourselves in.

This is a very common cycle and it can be disheartening. It can almost feel as if you’re damned if you do and dammed if you don’t. If you move it hurts. If you don’t move, you lose fitness and strength, and your pain limits even more of what you can do.

This can lead to your pain being the primary suspect for you missing out on all the wonderful things you’d love to be doing.

But there is a way to break the cycle of this, and its to go against a lot of your instincts, little by little, to become comfortable working with your pain.

What do we already know about pain?

For a little bit of background, lets quickly cover what we know about pain…

Since the late 1900’s we have started to notice the complex and uncertain nature pain can have. In 2007, some excellent work by Lorimer Mosley (amongst other researchers) found and agreed that pain is not only due to an injury to a tissue, but an be influenced by a wide range of factors including stress, expectations of pain, fear of pain, past experience of pain or injury, avoidance of particular activities, socioeconomic status, support, healthcare advice… the list goes on.

To put it simply, pain (especially if it has persisted for longer than 3 months) can be a poor measure of tissue health and threat to danger.

This is not to say that your pain you are experiencing isn’t real and debilitating (because it definitely is), but that pain itself may not be as accurate at pointing out potentially harmful things for us as we might think.

At the end of the day, pain is not in and of itself harmful, but rather an alarm for something that might be harmful. It’s the protection mechanism for trying to keep you safe. And sometimes our body learns pain in a way that is no longer particularly accurate or helpful.

The case for working with pain, instead of against it

With the knowledge that pain is not necessarily harmful, but rather just unpleasant, we can open a few doors for your thinking and your journey out of pain. A great way to tone down this pain response is to explore pain a little bit more, and not so much work hard to avoid it, but work hard to understand it and how it acts in your individual case.

First, think about why your pain sucks so much. If I waved a magic wand and removed your pain, what would you be going out and doing?

Most of you will be thinking of all the tasks pain limits you doing and how you’d love to return to them. If it wasn’t for the pain you were in, you’d be out there doing them!

This is where we can reshape our thoughts of pain a little bit.

What if we could continue to do the things we loved WITH some pain? Not the debilitating pain that keeps you from sleeping, but with some pain that you could tolerate for the duration of the activity? What if we’ve never experimented to see just HOW much of an activity we can do with pain becoming out of control? By doing this, we can now put pain in our lap and work with it, rather than fight against it and avoid all things that flare up our pain.

Starting this kind of journey can be very difficult, and finding that balance of just how much pain is okay and how much will cause a significant flare up can be hard to find.

Sometimes it takes some help and advice from a professional who will help guide you on your journey back to the things you love, with or without some pain.

This is why we designed our Pain to Performance program at Tailored Health. Finding what you love doing, and getting you back there with or without pain by helping you navigate the complex journey it can take to get there, either through our free resources, or through sessions with our rockstar Exercise Physiologists with a passion for treating people just like you (or the loved one you are thinking of reading this).

So if you want help reconceptualising your pain to help get you back to what you love, click to find out more about our pain to performance program, or book in a free 20 minute road mapping session below to talk to our of our Exercise Physiologists to see what we can do for you.

Looking to Make an Appointment?

Booking Online is the most convenient way to lock in the appointment type, practitioner & time you want.

5 Star Google Reviews
Tailored Health is committed to 5 star client satisfaction.

I have been an employee at Tailored Health for a few months now and I have absolutely fallen in love with the culture and values of this place! As someone who has worked in a number of businesses in this industry, I truly believe Tailored Health runs one of the most hospitable and well informed service's for helping people look after their health and get back to living life on their own terms.

Alex Marriott Avatar Alex Marriott
April 22, 2022

Ben is the go-to guy when it comes to exercise physiology! My dealings with him have always been professional and friendly.

Ivan Bezbradica Avatar Ivan Bezbradica
April 19, 2022

I've worked at Tailored Health for 5 years and could not be prouder of the community that has been built over this time. Every team member is an absolute legend, who are incredible passionate about empowering healthier living and consistently brining the joy in everything they do! Tailored Health really is taking healthcare to the next level and it is a pleasure to be a part of it.

Claire Samanna Avatar Claire Samanna
April 13, 2022