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Three Common Myths about Pain

Tim Boyer's picture
Pain myths interfere with useful diagnosis

Do you suffer from pain and your doctor doesn’t seem to be of any help? Here’s a video about some causes of unexplainable pain and three common myths that could be interfering with your finding any relief.


According to a recent ABC News Good Morning America episode, millions of people suffer from chronic pain with at least half not finding any relief, let alone an accurate diagnosis to identify the source or cause of this debilitating condition.

Here is a clip from Good Morning America that shows just how difficult pain can be to diagnose and whether you may have a pain condition that an estimated 26 out of every 100,000 people suffer from called “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” (CRPS).

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Three Pain Myths that Often Cause People to Go Undiagnosed

Pain Myth #1: Your pain is all in your head―That’s what many are told when their chronic pain is lacking a diagnosis. But according to GMA’s Dr. Jennifer Ashton, researchers are finding that there is significant evidence that people who suffer chronic pain undergo structural functional molecular changes in the brain in terms of their anatomy, a reduction in the brain’s gray matter density, and metabolic changes―all of which disrupt signal processing in the brain. In this case, it is all in your head, but not the way others perceive your undiagnosed pain.

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Pain Myth #2: Chronic pain really isn’t a disease―until now, as researchers and doctors are beginning to realize that chronic pain actually fits the medical definition of what constitutes a disease― a disorder or a function that produces specific signs or symptoms that adversely affects the normal functioning of a person’s various bodily systems.

Pain Myth #3: If you rub the affected area and the pain goes away, then it’s not real―Scientists believe that what is happening when you rub your pain away can be explained by the “gate control theory” of pain where a distraction stimulus—such as rubbing or massaging near the painful area—causes the nerve messaging to the brain to lessen and thereby causes a person to experience some relief. While the pain may be relieved, it’s real none the less and typically recurs until the source of the problem is identified and properly treated.

For some additional pain-related advice, here are some select articles for you that could prove useful:

8 Warning Signs of Pain When Your Body Is Trying to Tell You Something

60 Second Back Pain Fixes

Natural Fixes for Low Back Pain

Reference: Good Morning America—“Chronic Pain that Has No Name