May 18, 2023 in Back Pain, Life Style, Neck Pain, Patient Resources, Philosophy

The Pain Trap: Why Your Pain May Be Misguiding Your Health Decisions

Avoid relapses, don'T fall into the pain trap

Pain is often the body’s final cry for help. Like the searing throb of a decayed tooth or the dull ache of advanced cancer, pain often signals a point of no return in disease progression. But what if pain is misleading us into complacency?

Painless Physical Signs that Precede Pain

Before the onset of pain, there are often telltale signs. Asymmetrical muscle tone, morning stiffness, reduced flexibility, and unexplained fatigue are like whispering voices that precede the shout of pain. These subtle symptoms might hint at health problems that are still in their early, more manageable stages.

Symptoms: The First to Disappear

When we begin treatment, pain is often the first symptom to disappear. Imagine filling a cookie jar – the last cookie to enter the jar is the pain. When you begin your treatment, the pain ‘cookie’ is often the first one you take out. But the jar isn’t empty yet. The remaining cookies, representing the underlying issues, still need to be addressed.

Why Do People Stop Treatment Early?

Many patients discontinue treatment as soon as the pain subsides, believing they’ve recovered. Others stop treatment due to financial constraints or because they’re too busy with work or family obligations. Some even put their health on the backburner due to low self-esteem, prioritizing the care of their pets, vehicles, or homes over their personal wellbeing.

The Consequences of Stopping Early

However, ending treatment prematurely can have serious consequences. The disease could relapse, progress further, or even cause complications. In addition, the financial burden of healthcare can increase significantly if a disease progresses to a more severe stage due to incomplete treatment.

Strategies to Avoid the Pain Trap

So, how can we avoid this ‘Pain Trap’? The key is to understand that the absence of pain does not necessarily mean the disease is entirely gone. We must strive to complete our treatment and pay attention to other, more subtle signs of illness.

Conclusion

In short, don’t just remove the pain ‘cookie’ and assume the jar is empty. Make sure you ‘eat all the cookies’ by addressing all underlying health issues. By doing so, you can avoid the ‘Pain Trap’ and ensure a more comprehensive and lasting recovery.

References

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  8. Llewelyn, M.J., Fitzpatrick, J.M., Darwin, E., Tonkin-Crine, S., Gorton, C., Paul, J., Peto, T.E.A., Yardley, L., Hopkins, S., & Walker, A.S. (2017). The antibiotic course has had its day. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 358, j3418. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3418
  9. Cutler, R.L., Fernandez-Llimos, F., Frommer, M., Benrimoj, C., & Garcia-Cardenas, V. (2018). Economic impact of medication non-adherence by disease groups: a systematic review. BMJ Open, 8(1), e016982. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016982
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