Pain: Let it done or do something yourself?

Pain: Let it done or do something yourself?

8 min. reading time


Louis Zantema

2 March 2020

Louis is a GZ-Psychologist with a great passion for gaming. For him, a game training that offers therapy is the most valuable thing you can develop: especially for pain complaints, which are on the interesting intersection of body and mind. His aim is to make himself dispensable as a therapist.

There are numerous treatments available for pain complaints. One way to distribute them is as follows. There are treatments that do something for you, and treatments in which you have to change something yourself. What is the difference and how can they help you?

Treatments that do something for you

The first group of treatments, are treatments that solve your pain problem for you. Medicines, surgeries, alternative medicines and treatments where you don't have to do anything yourself, such as massage. 

The advantage of these treatments is easy to see. They often solve your problem quickly and work quickly. The disadvantage can be that a treatment has side effects, does not work or even leads to more problems. Certain strong painkillers in particular have been given a bad name in recent years, because they can lead to a lot of 'new problems'. 

If an outside solution works for you, it is a nice and quick solution. But what if the solution isn't that simple? The last disadvantage of a solution that is outside yourself is that it doesn't change anything about you. And may be necessary to make progress...

Does 'who I am' affect my treatment?

A while back I had to give a presentation. It was about the results of a pain treatment (a certain operation) and how people stand in life. 

The outcome of all those studies even shocked me. People who were active in life and tackled their problems quickly benefited from the surgery in 80% of the cases. They had less pain because of the operation.

The people who had to wait and see in life, worried more and didn't tackle their problems quickly, only had less pain in 30% of the operations! 

This is a good example, which shows that there is no such thing as 'solutions from outside' and 'solutions in which you yourself play a role'. Even with medical interventions, your way of dealing with problems has a lot of influence on the outcome.

Pain: doing something about it yourself

Treatments in which you have to do something yourself

In the end, you're part of every problem you have. Even if something happens to you, you still have a choice in how you want to deal with it. Changing yourself can always make a difference. When it comes to pain treatments, you can mainly think about physiotherapy, improving your lifestyle, learning about your problems and psychological treatments.

The biggest disadvantage of these treatments is easy to see. They cost effort and often only yield something in the long term. You have to put a lot of time and energy into them yourself, and even then the results can wait. You can also feel guilty when you find out that you have been doing something for years that has only made your problem worse.

But when nothing has helped your problem any further and you don't know where else to 'look'? Maybe it's worthwhile to see what else you can do yourself. 

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