Chronic pain is hurtful enough without enduring the harmful myths that surround this challenging condition. Discover six damaging myths about chronic pain, and learn the truth behind these false claims.
Chronic Pain Is Natural
Whether you consider yourself young or old, many people think of chronic pain as a natural part of the aging process. In reality, most people experience some low-level pain as a result of general wear and tear.
This mild physical pain doesn’t significantly affect your quality of life, which is where it differs from a chronic condition. Separating low-level pain from chronic conditions is important, since most aging-related pain is easy to treat.
If You Look Great, You Must Feel Fine
People who experience acute pain after an injury, an accident, or surgery often have trouble covering up their severe discomfort. That’s one reason not everyone understands what chronic pain looks like.
If you deal with pain on a frequent basis, you’re probably familiar with putting on a brave face and getting on with your day. While you might not want to make yourself vulnerable by constantly showing how you feel, it’s okay to remind others that just because your face doesn’t reveal chronic pain doesn’t mean that you don’t live with it every day.
You’ll Become Addicted to Painkillers
Prescription medication is a common treatment for chronic pain, but you might hesitate to pursue this path if you’re concerned about addiction. While painkiller addiction isn’t something to take lightly, it’s not necessarily a reason to forgo treatment. Talk with your health care team about your concerns, and work with them to find the right medication level.
You’re Better Off Toughing It Out
Refusing professional treatment altogether in favor of dealing with the pain often has negative consequences. A medical professional can assess whether your chronic pain is the sign of a more serious condition. A doctor can also help you treat your condition responsibly rather than resorting to dangerous levels of self-medication.
Chronic Pain Lasts Forever
If you’ve lived with chronic pain for long, you might start to believe that it’s a condition you can never escape. While the term “chronic” implies it’s an ongoing condition, that doesn’t mean it’s incurable.
Even though you might have a long road ahead, it’s important to remember that most chronic pain can be treated successfully. Commit to finding a health care professional who understands your needs, and work with him or her to find an effective treatment.
It’s All in Your Head
Since it’s a condition that’s often invisible, chronic pain might seem like more of a mental state than a physical problem. No matter how much you want to believe that you can just will away the pain, however, this simply isn’t possible for chronic pain sufferers.
If you find that friends and family believe this myth, take steps to help them understand chronic pain. Share medical resources, explain what you’re going through, and advocate for yourself.
Chronic pain isn’t easy to live with, and false information makes the condition harder to handle. Dismantle some of the most common myths about chronic pain, and start down the path toward healing.