Many pain management practitioners who treat long term pain will say that 'less pain' is not the goal of treatment. Anyone in long term pain simply wants 'less pain' during treatment. Who is right?
Immediately less pain
There are a number of ways to have less pain quickly. Especially if you are very distracted, or if you have an adrenaline rush, you will quickly feel less pain. Of course, there are also medications that reduce pain quickly. The downside of all quick ways to reduce pain is that you feel worse in the long run. Life is no fun if you have to constantly distract yourself, or if you feel stressed all the time. And fast-acting medications also have negative side effects.
Less pain in the long term
Having less pain in the short term doesn't work so well. That's why many therapies, and this blog, focus on the long term. By constantly changing small things in your life, you train your brain to deal with pain differently. Knowledge and patience prove to be the better way than all the quick fixes.
Why therapists have a problem with less pain?
To have less pain, many things often have to change. Changes in thinking, doing, feeling and paying attention. Working on pain is elite sport - and less pain is like winning the gold medal.
And that's where the problem lies. A top athlete who works only in their head to win the medal is not focusing enough on their training. Her goal is to train in such a way that the chance of winning that medal is the greatest, and to focus on that every day. In the meantime, she may dream of winning the gold medal, but it's too stressful to think about it all the time.
How to think about 'less pain'
Professionals worry that you put too much emphasis on 'less pain'. And so you deal more with what's not there yet, which causes stress. And stress increases the likelihood of pain.
I would say hope for a life with less pain. Think of it as the gold medal. You may win it soon, but it could take another three years. Set goals for what needs to change, and above all, look at what's possible. But there's nothing wrong with occasionally hoping for a future where there's less pain. Think about what you would do then! Maybe you can take the next step there today.Less pain due to treatment