Many pain therapists who treat long-term pain complaints will say that 'less pain' is not the aim of the treatment. Anyone who has pain for a long time simply wants 'less pain' in treatment. Who is right?
Immediately feel less pain
There are quite a few ways to quickly feel less pain. Especially when your attention is very distracted, or when you are stiff from the adrenaline, you quickly feel less pain. Of course, there are also medicines that can easily reduce the pain. The disadvantage of all rapid ways of reducing pain is that you feel worse in the long run. Life is not fun if you have to keep distracting yourself, or if you constantly feel stressed. And also medicines that work quickly have negative side effects.
Less pain in the long term
Feeling less pain just as quickly doesn't work so well. That's why many treatments, and also this blog, focus on the long term. By changing small things in your life, you train your brain to deal with pain differently. Knowledge and patience appear to be a better way than all those quick solutions.
Why practitioners have a problem with less pain
To experience less pain, a lot will often have to change. Changes in thinking, acting, feeling and attention. Working on pain is top sport - and less pain is like winning the gold medal.
And there lies the problem. A top athlete who is just busy in his head winning the medal, does not focus enough on his training. Her goal is to train in such a way that the chance of winning the medal is the greatest, and to focus on that every day. In the meantime, she can dream of the gold medal, but it's too stressful to think about it all the time.
How you can think about 'less pain'
Pain therapists are afraid that you are placing too much emphasis on 'less pain'. And because of that, being more concerned with what isn't there yet, which is stressful. And stress increases the chance of pain.
I would say: hope for a life with less pain. Think of it as the gold medal. Maybe you'll win it soon, but it can also take another three years. Set your goals on what needs to change, and especially look at what can be done. But there's nothing wrong with occasionally hoping for a future with less pain. Imagine what you would do! Maybe you can take the next step there today.