Is it Pain or Discomfort?

Perhaps one of the biggest struggles we can run into in working with people in pain is getting our clients feeling safe when returning to movement. The reality of the matter is that the chances of a person in pain experiencing some symptoms as he or she returns to activity is real and part of the process. How can we get our people to trust the process? To be comfortable being uncomfortable? I think Aline Thompson, a physical therapist I trust out of Denver, has the answer. In today’s post, she outlines how changing the belief frame someone approaches pain with can have profound impacts on returning to life. Without further adieu, here is what she has to say: Is there a Difference Between Pain and Discomfort? There’s a difference and it matters. More often than not the question goes more like this: “Tell me about your pain…” After which you get a pause, with a look of contemplation. When this happens I wonder; what are they thinking? Should that silence be filled with a follow up question? “…. Or is it discomfort?” When I ask folks whether there is a difference between pain and discomfort everyone says yes. When I ask how they differ these are the answers: “Pain is discouraging, Discomfort is just frustrating” – “Discomfort is annoying but you can ignore it. Pain interferes with your brain and thought processes. You can’t do a complex math problem easily when you’re in pain” – “Pain can hinder progress

Read More

Sitting Posture, Hypermobility, and Fear-Avoidance – Movement Debrief Episode 72

Movement Debrief Episode 72 is in the books. Below is a copy of the video for your viewing pleasure, and audio if you can’t stand looking at me. Here is the set list: Does sitting slouch = extended? Why do people appear flexed when they sit? What is going on when someone sits slouched? How should I work with someone who has a hypermobility syndrome? What is Ehlers Danlos? Are isometrics a worthy starting place? What about unstable surface training? What is fear-avoidance? How do I go about using education to reduce fear avoidance? What other tactics do I use to mitigate fear avoidance?

Read More

How to Communicate with People in Pain

Communicating with people in pain is a tricky situation. If you say the wrong thing, or act afraid amidst pain, negative consequences will ensue with your client. So what is a clinician or coach to do when talking with a client? Are there better word choices to make when communicating with someone in pain? If you have these questions, then check out this week’s podcast and post. I provide some suggestions to help communicate with your people in pain, which will help them reach their goals.

Read More

Top 10 Posts of 2017

At the end of each year, I like to see what you beautiful…sexy…outstanding people liked the most from the jazz I be putting out. I want to understand you. Let me in!!!! While most of the top 10 were in the exercise-specific realm, I didn’t really see a common trend. It seems as though my fam have eclectic tastes. It’s probably why we get along so well! I want to thank you, the fam, for making 2017 an outstanding year. It has been all the comments, questions, stories, and praise that keeps me outputting content for you. I got some big things planned for 2018, and we may mix up the format a bit, but I think you will like the changes. But enough rambling. Let’s check out the top 10. First off… 10. Resilient Movement Foundations Course Review One of my favorite classes of the year,  put on by my fam from Resilient. Here we learned all the fundamental keys to effective movement, how to perform the big lifts savagely well, and how to use specific movements to improve joint position in these lifts. Follow these guys, they are some of the biggest stewards of the profession. 9. Practical Pain Education My thoughts on pain education have morphed a substantial degree over the past year. While I think my understanding of pain’s complexities have enhanced, I’ve worked on simplifying my education paradigms. I’ve often found that going down the neurophysiological rabbit hole is completely unnecessary, and providing simple examples

Read More

Practical Pain Education

I gave a talk on how I approach pain education in the land of China, and yes I finally got around to re-recording it. Here were some of the topics I discussed in this talk: The history of pain education The difference between the three pain mechanisms What the current research suggests regarding pain and threat The 14 most common maladaptive pain beliefs, and how to squash those thoughts via education If you want immediate access to the remainder of the 1 hour and 49 minute talk, and a FREE 21 page PDF file of my talk notes, fill out the form below. Without further adieu, here is the first 20+ minutes of the talk.

Read More