I want to add a bit more context to an Instagram post from this week about the psychology of pain.
The post was about catastrophizing pain and the cycle that it causes (click on the image to check it out.)
This model has made a significant impact on the treatment of pain and injury over the last decade.
Previously the biomedical model ruled how we manage pain.
The biomedical model is similar to the broken-down card analogy brought up last week as a bad way to look at the body. That’s because your tissues can repair themselves or create compensations for damaged things.
But to take this one step further, the body also has a sensory system affected by hormones, emotions, and stress that impact the perception of something wrong. This understanding has changed the rehab approach to account for the psychological aspect.
These developments have changed the way modern-day clinicians operate.
For example, changing language around pain issues. Replacing sinister terms like “wear and tear” or “bone-on-bone” for words less ominous, like “normal age-related changes” and “joint narrowing.”
Additionally, therapy programs are shifting to be more sport-specific and allow for graded exposure to heavier loads. Looking at modern-day sports medicine clinics, it’s not uncommon to see things like barbells, field turf, and sports equipment to progress athletes physically and mentally past pain.
Minimize, Don’t Catastrophize
This information on pain is especially relevant for clinicians, but individuals working through pain issues can also find ways to minimize their pain.
Start by creating a plan of attack, which includes a progression back to activity. Not only do the Crossover Symmetry 30 Day Fix programs work on progressively loading an injured joint, but they also guide sports-related movements as a week-by-week approach.
Next, is to hone in on how things have improved rather than focusing on how things still hurt. Trusting the process and seeing it in a new light can change the perception of pain.
And lastly, understand how other life events may be hurting you physically, as it’s all going into a single processing center.