Pain management is a complex field as there are a plethora of treatments and solutions depending on the individual. Throughout the past several decades, as the opioid crisis has grown nationwide, there are a number of common myths that surround pain and how to manage it. Pain can severely affect a person’s life as it limits their ability to participate in many day-to-day activities. Those experiencing pain may have issues with working, exercising, sleeping, and more. Oftentimes individuals who decide to seek treatment for their pain unconsciously embrace myths and untruths about pain and how to manage it, which can create obstacles between themselves and a healthy return to their normal lives.


Here I will debunk several of the most common misconceptions about pain and pain management.


“Medications are the only way to fully address the pain.”


Whether a person is experiencing chronic or acute pain their doctor may sometimes prescribe a medication to address the issue. Many people have a misunderstanding of medications’ role in pain management and believe that the prescription will address the root of their pain. This is false. Most often pain is caused by a musculoskeletal issue. The best way to solve this type of pain is through therapy with a licensed professional. 


Furthermore, there is a ton of research that shows aerobic activity, as well as exercise, can reduce the perception of pain immensely. In order for pain to be addressed correctly, there must first be a thorough understanding of what is causing the pain. Medications are definitely appropriate in some situations, however, pain killers are not the only way to address and solve the problem.


“Pain is a normal part of getting older.”


Although chronic pain is very common in people over the age of 65 it is by no means inevitable. Conditions such as osteoarthritis do increase with age and there is definitely a prevalence of pain in nursing homes, however, no one should believe that experiencing pain is a normal part of the aging process. While many older people will experience pain at some point it should be noted that it doesn’t have to be tolerated and there are a number of effective treatments. These pain management treatments include programs such as massage, aquatic, and physical therapies.


“No pain, no gain!”


Doctors who specialize in pain management hear this mantra quite a bit! The phrase, “no pain, no gain” was surely created to help motivate people who find fitness to be unpleasant. It is completely natural for the body to feel sore after following an exercise routine, in fact, it can even be a beneficial response. However, if someone is experiencing intense pain after an exercise it may be indicating that something is wrong. Oftentimes people are not exercising with the proper techniques; perhaps using too much resistance or doing too many repetitions. People must ensure that they’re paying attention to their body’s response during workouts and avoid straining or pulling muscles that could lead to longer-lasting pain problems.