Practise creating your own Pain Stories to illustrate Target Concepts – key ideas helpful for everyone to understand pain. Here’s one that we prepared earlier!
Know your limits
- Learning about pain can help the individual
- Pain depends on the balance of danger and safety
Calculating the right dose is crucial when prescribing medication. People now appreciate that the same is true in rehabilitation. You can overdose on exercise or pain education. The results are like drinking too much and getting a hangover the next day. Increased pain and sensitivity and a feeling like you don’t want to drink (exercise or learn about pain) again.
You can underdose too, so that there is little effect or carryover from the exercise or pain education. Perhaps someone has watered down your drink so much that it’s impossible to know what it is you’re drinking! It’s unlikely that you’ll want to engage in the exercise or order the same drink in the future.
Finding the right dose (or sweet spot) is crucial. It can take a few attempts too. Again, a bit like your first foray into drinking alcohol. Sometimes you think you’ve hit the sweet spot, you’ve had a great night out with friends but wake feeling awful. It’s important not to lose heart with your rehabilitation. Try to see it as a learning opportunity and a need to tweak the dose, not as a failure. Consider changing the amount you do, who you do it with, when or where you do it and what you do before or after.
Just as the perfect night having drinks with friends looks different for each of us, so does the perfect dose of exercise or pain education for the person in pain or the clinician prescribing these. Sometimes the perfect night out means you’ll feel tired and a little sore the next day. The same is true for rehabilitation.