Is Chronic Pain All In Your Head?
You’re suffering from chronic pain. It’s not going away. You know you can’t keep living like this. You need help. You seek out a health professional expecting some alleviation from your suffering.
You get answers such as…
“You’ll have to learn to live with your pain”
I don’t think you understand doc, I came to you because I can’t live with this pain. It’s destroying my life. Can’t you give me a diagnosis that makes sense?
“I don’t know what’s wrong with you”
But I read that literally millions of other people are suffering from some form of chronic pain. Based on those numbers you must have a lot of other patients that come to see you looking for help. Is that the best answer you have?
“You look fine, so you must be feeling better”
I wish you could be me, feeling what I’m feeling. I may put on a brave face, but I’m dying here. I need help. WHY CAN’T YOU HELP ME!?!?!?!?!
“The pain is all in your head”
Ugh. I’ve had enough.
This is an incredibly frustrating experience, and it leads many to lose hope and to give up on those trying to help them. They may feel like their doctor doesn’t understand their pain, that they are insensitive, or that they just don’t care.
But the truth is that most care deeply about their patients and they want to help them get better. If you look at the statements above (which you may have heard from your pain doc), you’ll notice that they are reflective of a lack of knowledge when it comes to pain.
The more egotistical docs will blame the patient, while those that are more patient focused will remain frustrated and blame themselves. Johnathon Tomlinson is a GP in London, England who has faced this frustration. His opening line in this essay “Please don’t come back!”, is a common internal refrain amongst those treating chronic pain. His story is similar to that of other docs with chronic pain patients.
The problem is that they just don’t know what to do.
Nobody knows what to do. Neither the sufferer, the family, the nurses, the docs, or the medical system at large have a clue of what to do. And so, the pain stays and the number of sufferers increases. Day in, day out. It remains a struggle to remain hopeful.
And everyone is worse off for it.
We will never be able to cure chronic pain until we understand the causes. There are a lot of theories about the causes of chronic pain, but the unanimous belief is that it’s very complex and that we don’t know anything about it.
The first step to solving any problem is to find the cause of the problem. That seems like a no-brainer. However, the status quo when it comes to treating chronic pain is to treat the symptoms. The experience of pain is a symptom, and as long as we are treating the symptom we are ignoring the cause.
The use of opiates to treat chronic pain is effective in masking the pain (treating symptoms), but requires a continual increase in dosing in order to be effective over the long term. Surgery might be effective, but more often than not it’s not treating the cause of the pain and so little, if any, improvement is to be found. Sometimes surgery even makes it worse. (Other treatments such as massage, acupuncture, or exercise can be helpful but they are not the normal prescription from MD’s).
So what to do?
There is an answer for chronic pain and it starts by understanding the root cause of pain. This answer requires a shift in understanding about pain and the role that it is playing in the body. The orthodoxy in pain suggests that the experience of longterm pain is your body/brain not working properly. There’s some sort of malfunction.
There are a lot of hypothesis’, but not a whole lot of solutions. There are few theories that would suggest that the pain you are experiencing is your body working correctly to notify you of an issue that needs to be corrected.
And yet, if we look at the answers that patients are given, that seems to be the underlying belief even if it’s not understood. In the future, we hope Doc’s give this prognosis instead –
“There is nothing wrong with you. Your body is working perfectly to inform your brain that there is an issue within your muscles. Your experience of pain is all in your head, because heck, all experience is in your head. Now lets get you fixed up so you can get back to living pain free.”
Until we get there lets start with these questions.
- What if the truth is that chronic pain is your body screaming out for help?
- What if the pain is the signal that there is something wrong that needs to be corrected?
- What if there were a way to understand and treat the causes of chronic pain?
This site was created to explore these issues. Dr. Richard Henry has been treating his patients with increasing success over the last 15 years. Through working with thousands of patients he has refined his methods and understanding of pain to the point where he’s ready to share it with the world so that we can eradicate chronic pain for good.
Regardless of whether you have been suffering from pain for years or if you are at the early stages of chronic pain we believe that there is hope and that we can beat this disease. If you are interested in coming on this journey with us and learning more about the true causes of chronic pain we would love to share this life saving information with you.
Subscribe to our blog below and we’ll keep you updated with the information that you need to understand and effectively treat your chronic pain.