Case Study - Ten years of persistent pain

Mind over matter - Ten years of persistent pain, the case of two patients

Goulburn Physiotherapy – Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies… this is our organisation slogan, motto, philosophy… call it what you like. We believe that healthy minds and bodies go together, and here’s why…

Mr A came into my office and said, “I’ve had this back pain for 10 years, nobody has ever been able to help me. I don’t think you will be able to do anything for it either. I’ll just have live with it forever”.

Mr B was next, and he said, “This back pain has been giving me grief for 10 years, I’m really hoping I don’t have to live with it forever”.

To tell you the truth, we hear these types of comments many times a week… and at that time we can identify a major difference that will determine if and how a patient will benefit from physiotherapy.

Can you spot the difference?

The subtle difference that will make a world of difference is their mind set!

Let’s assume that both Mr A and Mr B have had the same cause of pain, been told the same thing by their doctors, and have been told that their scans are not significant enough to warrant surgery. But those few words signify a difference in their approaches to pain…

“I’ll just have to live with it forever” – Mr A

This mind set infers a negative outcome, he doesn’t have any faith in anyone being able to help him for his pain. He has accepted defeat and is willing to live with his pain forever.

NOTE: Nobody should have to live in pain forever!

“I’m really hoping I don’t have to live with it forever” – Mr B

Mr B does not sound overly hopeful that he will recover after 10 years of pain, yet he shows READINESS TO CHANGE and motivation to not live a life of pain.

So what happened next? It took a number of sessions with Mr A to teach him about pain, let him understand what pain is, how it works, why he is in pain and what he needs to change to be rid of his pain. He also had sessions with his doctor and a psychologist to convince him that a life of pain is not necessary and that a more positive shift in mindset can make a world of difference. Once he accepted that “maybe I can get better”, that’s when we started to see some real changes. It took five months to educate Mr A on that shift of mindset and focus his attention on getting better and the life he could be living pain free. Although very resistant, he did get there after five months. After this eventual change in mind set, it took just four more sessions with Mr A to be completely better! No more pain. He feels better now.

Mr B was much quicker in his recovery. We spent two sessions further educating him about the whole pain experience and how it related to him. Once he too understood the pain, his full recovery took just four weeks!

If you, or someone you know has persistent pain, then book an appointment today and let’s start you on your journey to a pain free life. Remember, pain is an experience. Once you understand this, your journey has begun.

Goulburn Physiotherapy – Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies