Education and Resources
Studies show that education on the nature of pain and how the body works can greatly reduce stress and alleviate fear when we’re hurting. Understanding leads to a sense of empowerment and ultimately to better patient outcomes so even if you don’t have a lot of time, making it a part of your recovery from injury, chronic pain management or general self-care can be hugely beneficial.
To help facilitate this objective, I’ve compiled a list of videos, websites and reading and separated it into shorter, more introductory material and longer, more robust sections. I’ve also included a section specific to parents and kids. Although most of this research has been around for decades, it’s only recently that it’s become more widely accepted and you may find it challenges some long-held beliefs in unexpected ways. Whether you choose to dip your toe, dive in headfirst or something in between, I promise you it’ll be well worth the effort.
I will continue to source information and update this page as I find items that I think may be helpful so check back now and then for more content.
These videos and articles offer comprehensive explanations in easy to understand language for those looking to start with the basics and go from there. They should each take no more than 5-15 minutes of your day and are well worth the time.
- Understanding Pain in less than 5 minutes by Hunter Integrated Pain Service
- Why Things Hurt with Lorimer Moseley (TED Talk)
- How does your brain respond to pain? – Karen D. Davis (TED Talk)
POSTURE AND STRENGTH
- Are your Xray or MRI results helpful or harmful? by Kinetic Labs
- What happens when you have a concussion? – Clifford Robbins (TED Talk)
- Understanding Back Pain by Dr. Mike Evans (Reframe Health Lab)
MOVEMENT & EXERCISE
- The brain-changing benefits of exercise – Wendy Suzuki (TED Talk)
- 23 1/2 Hours – by Dr. Mike Evans (Reframe Health Lab)
- Yoga with Adriene – online yoga videos
- How to Start Exercising by Help Guide
- Why does it hurt to get older? by John McCrone
- Is it better to apply hot or cold when you have pain? by Dora Jackson RMT
- Stretching by Dora Jackson RMT
If you have a bit more time and would like to delve a bit deeper into how the body works, these resources are a great starting point. I’ve also included some interactive tools that will not only educate you on the nature of your pain but also help you to overcome it.
- Better Movement – articles, videos, podcast and research reviews on many health topics
- Pain Science – well researched and regularly updated articles on just about everything
- The Pain Toolkit – explore self-management strateties in dealing with chronic pain
- NoiGroup – pain courses, products, resources and blog
- Retrain Pain – learn a science-based approach to dealing with chronic pain
- Pain Revolution – a collection of useful videos, websites, articles and podcasts to help understand pain
- Live Plan Be – free pain self-management resources including evidence-based articles, assessment tools and an anonymous discussion forum by Pain BC (some resources are BC specific but many are accessible to all)
- Explain Pain by David Butler & Lorimer Moseley
- The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (neuroplasticity)
- A Guide to Better Movement by Todd Hargrove
- Pain Education Workbook (PDF download) and Recovery Strategies (PDF download) both by Greg Lehman – workbooks that provide great education on the nature of pain in general and go further to supply useful tools to help overcome it.
- Pain U Online – Modules from the University of Toronto to help you manage pain
- Pain, The Brain and Your Amazing Protectometer with Prof. Lorimer Moseley
- Treating Pain Using The Brain with David Butler
- Gentle Movement @ Home by PainBC – guided movement and relaxation designed to help people with persistent pain learn to feel safe to move again. Led by health care professionals with a focus on various topics and done in both seated and standing positions.
Parents and Kids
Keeping kids safe and happy is the number one job of every parent and it can be torture to watch them hurting. The good news is there are lots of resources out there to help parents, teenagers and kids when they’re in need. This is just a few of them.
- Understanding Pain – Kidshealth New Zealand
- Concussions 101: A Primer for Kids and Parents by Dr. Mike Evans
- Pain – Learning Hub by SickKids
- About Kids Health – health education for children, youth and their caregivers by SickKids
- SKIP – Kids in Pain – videos, handouts, pain management apps, symptom tracking tools and online resources
- MyCarePath – a free online resource for teens ages 12 to 17
Learning takes time. Simply exposing yourself to a new idea doesn’t automatically allow you to absorb the information and adjust the way you think, feel and behave. It’s a process, and a dynamic one at that. Furthermore, some of your ideas on pain and how it manifests in the body may be so ingrained that challenging them will likely make you uncomfortable. It was certainly that way for me and I continue to struggle with my biases and preconceptions as I push for greater understanding. So be patient, ask questions and, above all, keep an open mind.