Myth: Learn to Live with It
“I was in constant pain. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t function. My family was falling apart. I didn’t know what to do.” –Carl White, father, chronic pain sufferer
People who aren’t in constant pain don’t understand the toll it takes, and how desperate the search is for a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN. There’s more to the experience than just the never-ending push-you-to-your-limits pain. Pain diminishes life. It depletes bank accounts, devastates relationships, and limits potential. And when you’ve tried anything and everything to get relief, and you’re still in pain, it’s easy to believe you’re going to have to learn to live with it.
The tricky thing about this “You-Have-to-Live-With-It” myth is that it’s real message is obscured. Let me show you:
* It’s an incomplete sentence. The full message is, “You’re going to have to learn to live with the pain because this is as good as it’s going to get.” It means your best days are behind you and it’s all downhill from here, might as well not even find a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN. Until you take your last breath, this pain will remain a big part of your life.
* It’s sugar-coated. Learn to live with pain? Hardly. You’ll never learn to live with pain. It doesn’t work that way. At best, you put up with suffering through it maybe see a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN every once in a while. Not being able to play with your kids—that’s suffering through it. Not being able to go for a walk—that’s suffering through it. Not being able to sleep a full night—that’s suffering through it. When we start to believe this lie, we accept not only the sensation of pain as a part of our life, but also all of the restrictions, limitations, and lack-of-life that comes with it.
Laid bare, the real message is: “You’re just going to have to suffer through it because this is as good as it’s going to get.” And it’s the first myth of this kind. All the myths up to this point entice you with the possibility of getting better, but this one is the opposite. It leads you to believe there’s no hope and no end in sight for your misery. That’s enough to cause fear in even the toughest pain sufferer.
Before I as a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN reveal the truth behind this myth, let’s uncover how it leads to one of the most dangerous and hard-to-get-rid-of habits that will keep you in pain: fear-avoidance behaviors.
Force of Habit
As humans, we are hardwired to avoid pain. When we do something that causes pain, we quickly develop fear around doing that thing again. In most cases, like touching a hot iron, this is good because it protects us from injury, but with back and neck pain, it’s a different story.
When you find a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN you’ll learn that your spine requires stress to stay strong, movement to stay mobile, and activity to keep you pain-free. If every time you vacuum, your back is thrown into thunderous spasms, you’re going to avoid vacuuming for as long as possible. That’s where the problem starts because vacuuming stresses your back and that stimulation keeps it strong. The same could be said for just about any activity that involves moving your back and neck throughout the day. So if you stop vacuuming, you stop stressing your back, and by doing so, your back will grow weak, which leads to more pain. For someone in constant pain, where the slightest thing causes pain, this turns into a very sticky mess.
Everyday activities get increasingly difficult, and as a result of this, we avoid doing more, which causes more weakness, more pain… and soon the fear of doing things spreads to other areas of your life, as does the pain. One author put it this way: “Pain-related fear leads to a cycle of decreased movement, inflammation, nervous system sensitization, and further decreased mobility.”(54)
Another way to think about it: engineers tell us that if our car sits out in the driveway, it will rust faster than it will wear out cruising the open roads. It’s true that if you drive a car eventually it will break down and need to be repaired, but that doesn’t stop you from driving, does it? Of course not. We all know that’s a part of the deal. You’ll here a similar story from a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN, it’s the same thing with pain: you can’t let it stop you from using your body; not using it will cause it to breakdown so much faster than it should, and you’ll be a lot worse off.
And that’s why this myth is so dangerous. If you believe that your back and neck pain is as good as it’s going to get, you are also going to believe there’s no point in trying to get it to improve with a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN. These beliefs go hand-in-hand with each other. And if you surrender and start doing less, you will become weaker and forced to suffer through the agony of more pain.
As a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN I’ve worked with people firsthand where this cycle has progressed so far, and their pain has become so bad that they don’t feel life is worth living any more.
Don’t give into this myth—it’s a lie.
The truth is that there is always potential for your back and neck pain to improve. Always. You might have problems with your spine—and if you’re reading this, they’re probably big problems—but that does not mean you have to suffer the rest of your life.
In another article, you’re going to have a big epiphany when you learn the “Five Daily Habits”, especially when you learn how easy they are to make a part of your routine. These habits along with seeing a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN will keep you from developing these “avoidance behaviors” because they do one thing: make your spine healthier by improving how you use it. I’m excited to share these insights with you, but before we do–you guessed it—we have another myth to bust, our last.
* MYTH: “You’re as good as you’re going to get. It’s best if you just learn to live with the pain.” This myth is a full frontal attack on the most important characteristic of getting pain-free: hope.
* TRUTH: You can never get as good as you’re going to get, and if you surrender and “learn to live with pain”, you begin down a slippery slope that leads to more pain. You can always do something to improve. In fact, I’ll prove it to you right now. Did you know that a small study in 2001 showed that monosodium glutamate (MSG) —a flavor enhancer found in everything from ranch dressing to fast-food restaurant meat—causes pain nerves (Nociceptors) to become sensitized? And that people who eliminated it from their diet for four consecutive months all but eliminated their chronic pain symptoms? (55) I’m guessing you didn’t know that. I’m guessing no doctor or guru has told you that. But that’s what I mean when I say there is always something you can do to improve. Don’t give up. Keep reading and find a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN.