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Posted Sep 21 2010 6:35am

Did you know that medical evidence proves that many of the beliefs about pain and pain relief are actually false.

For instance 'no pain, no gain' this myth persists among body-builders and athletes. However, there is no evidence to support the notion that you can build strength by exerting muscles to the point of pain. Resting to repair muscles and bring pain relief might not be macho, but it's the sensible thing to do.

Another common one 'it's all in my head', but pain is a complex problem, involving both the mind and the body. Pain is an invisible problem that others can't see, but that doesn't mean it's all in your head.

There are many options for pain relief. They include relaxation techniques, exercise, physical therapy, over-the-counter and prescription medicines, surgery and complementary treatments such as acupuncture and massage. It may not always be possible to completely control your pain, but there are many techniques which can help you manage it better. So, the myth that 'you just have to live with the pain', is just not true.

One classic myth is the 'I'll get addicted to the pain relief medicine'. However, GP's start your pain relief with a conservative approach by prescribing non-opioid pain-relief medicines which are in no way addictive. GP's may need to prescribe opioids, such as codeine and morphine, if pain becomes severe. Many people fear that they will become addicted to opioids. Physical dependence is not the same thing as addiction. And, physical dependence isn't a problem as long as you do not stop taking the opioids suddenly. Addiction is rarely a problem, unless you have a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

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