Our Ask A Physio series is a collection of microblogs aimed at giving a basic understanding of some frequently asked questions. If you have an injury or are experiencing discomfort please book an assessment or contact reception for more information.
The first thing to recognise here is that pain isn’t just a physical thing, it's also an emotional and psychological response to keep us safe from harm. It’s really trying to change our behaviour when something is wrong, with the goal of giving us a better chance of staying or getting well. So completely wiping out pain with tons of pain relief is counterproductive, and taking lots of medication early and often can cause side effects.
The flip side to this is that we know a really strong and untreated early pain experience is also counterproductive. It makes it hard to get things moving and makes the pain more likely to stick around for longer. I use two quick questions to get an idea of how well someone has their pain under control. “Are you coping?”, “Are you able to sleep a full night despite the pain?”. If the answer is no for either, check in with your GP or pharmacist for some help.