When it comes to chronic pain, there’s one danger most people are totally oblivious to. I call it the hidden danger of habit.

My kids have always found it amazing that I was quite happy to jump off a cliff with a hanglider strapped to my back, but put me up a very tall building, and I’ll keep several feet back from the edge. Even if there’s a high railing. Heights (if I’m not hangliding) just aren’t my thing.

When it comes to assessing danger, most of us aren’t that rational. We’re quite happy to go at 100 kilometers down the highway, but worry about taking a plane (which is statistically much safer.)

When it comes to chronic pain, there’s one danger most people are totally oblivious to. I call it the hidden danger of habit.

Like this kid swinging over an enormous drop, we have no idea how destructive some habits can be. (True confession, just looking at this picture makes my knees go wobbly.)


So what kind of habits am I talking about?

The invisible habits that drive chronic pain can turn up in many different ways. There was the 10/10 pain I used to experience each morning when I woke up – a stabbing pain in my lower back that switched on like a radio station each morning.

Then there’s the pain one client had that would immobilise her shoulder whenever she tried to raise her arm. Or the pain that used to wake one patient of mine each morning at around 3am. Or the pain another lady had whenever she walked for more than a few minutes.

The weird truth?

All these awful pains were unconsciously formed habits of their very badly behaved pain systems.

Reactive pain is a fascinating and sometimes hard-to-spot pain type. Many people who’ve been in pain for a while have no idea that day by day, they’re ingraining pain habits that can be hard to break.

They’re unaware that they’re training their pain system to switch on and play up under specific circumstances. And this is dangerous because unless you start undoing this process, chronic pain can become a downward spiral.

To find out how to break free of the destructive habits that keep people in pain, I’ve recorded a presentation which you can opt in to listen to here >>

– Jonathan




About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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