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

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July 2018 Links and Review

Every week, my newsletter subscribers get links to some of the goodies that I’ve come across on the internets. Here were the goodies that my peeps got their learn on in July. If you want to get a copy of my weekend learning goodies every Friday, fill out the form below.  That way you can brag to all your friends about the cool things you’ve learned over the weekend.

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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.

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Pain Language and other Jive Talk

To All My Clinicians in the Struggle  I struggle with patients. Those patients that I am having trouble with are who I study the most. It’s that whole learning from your failures thing. In studying these folks, I have noticed an interesting trend. It doesn’t involve movement. It doesn’t involve medical history It doesn’t involve stress (though it always involve stress) Instead it involves language. I have noticed a few commonalities in how those patients who are either not improving or have been in chronic pain for some time talk. There is one shift, however, that I notice more often than not. Disembodiment from Your Sports Team  I don’t really watch a whole lot of sports; I’d rather play them.  Sports fans however, interest me. It’s fascinating how much ownership a sports fan takes in his or her team. This ownership is especially noticeable when things are going well.  Think of the language one may use during the following instances: Huge victory – “We finally beat the Packers.” Draft Picks – “Our team got some huge prospects.” Championship win – “We are the champions….my friends.” Notice though, how oftentimes language may shift when a team is not doing so well. Huge loss – “The Bears lost…Again.” Draft flops – “I can’t believe they chose Steve Urkel first round!.” Championship loss – “They blew our chance of winning.” Robert Cialdini discusses this concept in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” When our team is winning, we manipulate our association to

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