6 Damaging Myths About Chronic Pain


Chronic pain is frequently misunderstood, and myths about chronic pain are common. Unfortunately, these myths can cause individuals with chronic pain emotional distress and may even delay or prevent them from seeking proper treatment.

Six damaging myths about chronic pain myths include the following:

  1. The pain is mental rather than physical.
    When an individual has chronic pain, it is not “all in their head.” Although mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, can contribute to or worsen chronic pain, the physical pain is still very real.
  2. All individuals with chronic pain are addicted to pain medication.
    Pain medications, such as opioids, are not the only treatment option for chronic pain; many other treatment options are also available. If opioid therapy is required to achieve pain relief, it generally occurs under close supervision of a medical professional. When taken as prescribed, most opioid medications do not lead to addiction.
  3. Chronic pain is a natural part of aging and does not need to be treated. Although minor aches and pains are an expected part of aging, chronic pain is not. Chronic pain is a valid reason to seek medical attention, regardless of age.
  4. Bed rest is best.
    While rest is sometimes necessary when pain levels are severe, light to moderate physical activity improves circulation, prevents stiffness, and improves mental health and well-being.
  5. With enough hard work, chronic pain will go away.
    Although lifestyle choices, such as engaging in physical activity, eating a well-balanced diet, and practicing stress management, may reduce chronic pain, they are unlikely to completely eliminate it. Chronic pain treatment, such as medications and procedures, are often necessary to help manage pain.
  6. Individuals with chronic pain are weak.
    Many individuals with chronic pain set and reach impressive goals. Although pain can be debilitating at times and accommodations may be necessary to complete certain tasks, it requires strength to persevere despite chronic pain.

Additional source used to create this article: Pain Doctor.