Pain Myths & Truths -Here’s What You Need to Know!

Pain often is viewed as a bad thing or a misfortune placed upon us. In reality pain is just an alarm signal that is trying to tell us something about our body – typically that message is that something needs to change. Pain can help drive behavioral changes that help reduce the chance of further breakdown or injury.

Without it, we could do some serious harm to our bodies without realizing it. Deciphering what specific pains mean is what we need to do a better job at so that we can embrace it and learn from it. It is impossible to go through life avoiding pain, so when we experience it, let’s try to better understand what our body is trying to tell us.

Here are a few misconceptions about pain followed by some truths that may help change the way you view your pain.Image result for pain charts

Pain Common Beliefs/Misconceptions: 

  1. Pain means something is wrong with me

  2. Pain is always a bad thing

  3. My diagnosis (knee arthritis, bulging disc, rotator cuff tear, etc) explains why I have pain

  4. Medical imaging will tell me why I’m in pain

  5. My body is broken because of my pain

  6. I need someone to fix me

  7. I need to stop activities because I am in pain

  8. Pain can be completely avoided

  9. Only one thing contributes to my pain

  10. Passive modalities will get rid of my pain.


Pain Truths: 

  1. Hurt does not always mean harm

  2. Pathology/anatomical changes most likely won’t explain WHY you’re in pain

  3. Pain is not typically caused by a mechanical issue

  4. Pain can’t fully be explained by a medical image (ie: MRI, Xray)

  5. You ARE NOT your diagnosis

  6. There is no quick fix and you will need to make actual changes – commitment and consistency!

  7. A good health professional will not FIX you, but instead give you the tools to facilitate fixing yourself!

  8. You are NOT broken!


  10. Pain is a good thing – it tells us something about our body, we just need to be better at analyzing and deciphering what it means

  11. Pain is multifactorial and often requires multi-disciplinary care

Pain is not always a negative, pain is a sign that you need to alter, enhance or strengthen! The human body is a miraculous machine that can heal itself and with the help of professionals, Physical Therapists, personal trainers, etc you can maintain and keep your body pain free!


Blog researched and written by: Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT