Common Pain Management Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

May 17, 2024

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There are some commons stigmas and myths surrounding pain management techniques that have been formed thanks to the abundance of information available on the internet. Here are some of those myths debunked, and how we can help.

Pain is an inevitable part of the human experience. Whether it's a headache, backache, or chronic condition, almost everyone has dealt with pain at some point in their lives. With the abundance of information available today, it's easy to fall prey to misconceptions about pain management. These myths can not only hinder effective treatment but also contribute to unnecessary suffering. In this blog post, we'll debunk some of the most common pain management myths to help you make informed decisions about your health. If  you have any questions about your pain, you can schedule an appointment with any of our Doctors at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics. 


Myth 1: Pain is just a normal part of aging.

One of the most pervasive myths about pain is that it's inevitable as we get older. While certain age-related changes such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease can increase the likelihood of experiencing pain, pain itself is not a natural consequence of aging. Many older adults live pain-free lives, and those who do experience pain should not simply accept it as unavoidable. Seeking proper medical evaluation and treatment can often help alleviate or manage age-related pain effectively. Simple conservative treatments such as lifestyle changes and physical therapy may help take away your pain. If conservative treatments fail to help your pain you may benefit from minimally invasive procedures like epidural injections, nerve blocks, or nerve ablations. 


Myth 2: No pain, no gain.

This mantra might be popular in the world of sports and fitness, but it's not always applicable when it comes to managing pain. Pushing through pain can sometimes exacerbate an underlying condition or lead to further injury. While some discomfort during physical activity can be normal, especially when building strength or endurance, it's essential to distinguish between the discomfort of exertion and the pain of potential harm. Listening to your body and knowing when to rest or modify activities is crucial for preventing pain-related complications. No pain, no gain is a myth. 


Myth 3: Prescription painkillers are the only effective treatment for chronic pain.

The opioid crisis has shed light on the dangers of overreliance on prescription painkillers for managing chronic pain. While these medications can be effective for short-term relief of severe pain, they are not the only or always the best option for long-term pain management. Non-pharmacological approaches, such as physical therapy, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and lifestyle modifications, can often provide significant relief with fewer risks of addiction and adverse effects. Additionally, non-opioid medications, such as anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants, can be effective for certain types of chronic pain. Our doctors at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics create personalized healthcare plans that typically minimize the amounts of medications needed to relieve your pain. Pain medication is simply a stepping stone and tool used to guide you to recovery. 


Myth 4: Pain is purely physical.

While pain often has a physical origin, its perception and experience are influenced by various factors, including emotional, psychological, and social factors. Stress, anxiety, depression, and past traumas can all amplify the perception of pain and make it more challenging to manage. Ignoring the emotional aspect of pain can lead to incomplete treatment and persistent suffering. Integrative approaches that address both the physical and emotional aspects of pain, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction and relaxation techniques, can enhance overall pain management outcomes.


Myth 5: Rest is the best treatment for all types of pain.

While rest can be beneficial for acute injuries or conditions that worsen with activity, such as muscle strains or sprains, it's not always the best approach for managing pain. Prolonged rest or immobilization can lead to muscle weakness, stiffness, and loss of function, exacerbating pain in the long run. For many musculoskeletal conditions, including chronic back pain and osteoarthritis, exercise and physical activity are essential components of treatment. Low-impact exercises, stretching, and strengthening routines tailored to individual needs can help improve flexibility, mobility, and overall function while reducing pain.



Understanding common pain management myths is essential for optimizing treatment outcomes and improving quality of life for individuals living with pain. By adopting a holistic approach that considers the multifaceted nature of pain and exploring diverse treatment options, it's possible to effectively manage pain while minimizing reliance on potentially harmful interventions. Remember, pain should never be ignored or dismissed, and seeking professional guidance is crucial for developing a personalized pain management plan that works for you. For more information about our pain management treatments visit our treatments page. If you would like to see one of our providers to discuss your pain please select the “Book Now” button or give us a call.