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  • Dr. James H. Gruft

Dr. Gruft explains: How is pain management different from pain treatment?

Updated: May 22



What happens when you avoid pain?

The world shrinks when we avoid pain.It is not only our muscles and tendons that shrink when we avoid pain, our fear of pain makes our world shrink. As we cut ourselves off from painful activities, our worlds get smaller and smaller. Sadly, the things that offer us most joy are often the first things we give up. Long vacations, trips to-distant relatives or friends, going out socially, sports, hiking, and physical intimacy that we look forward to doing on a daily basis. As we let go of things we like to do those activities that bring us joy we are cutting ourselves off what enrich- es our lives. It’s as if we’re trying to bargain with a threatening stranger.

If we are always trying to avoid pain, we are on the path of retreat. Our world will get smaller and smaller as we avoid more and more activities that hurt. The path of retreat is the road of self oblivion, which is a road that we cannot afford to travel. Pain may be strange and mysterious and unwelcome, but it shouldn’t be allowed to become our master. We must stand. It will not do us any good to retreat. We need to meet our enemy face to face. After totally exhausting after placing ourselves in the hands of the right doctors, the right massage therapist, the right acupuncturist, physical therapist, the right chiropractor, the right herbalist, the right nutritionist, the right healer or the right astrologist all of the purpose of finding the perfect cure now, exhausted and weary and still with pain, we must take up our cross and carry it. That is to say, we must face our pain. Such a step requires a paradigm shift, a new way of thinking.


How is pain management different from pain treatment?

Because the pain is not going away, we must learn to deal with it, so it does not take over our lives. If we chose to journey down the road to endless treatments, our suffering may become deeper and more insidious. The alternative is to increase function in a systematic manner in spite of pain, an approach is called “pain management.” Pain management is a step on the road to healing.

But if the pain has become so severe and pervasive that our life is threatening to collapse under its weight? The approach required is comprehensive pain management. The term “comprehensive pain management” refers to a programmatic approach offered in some clinics and hospitals throughout the country, which is designed to help people manage their pain. It is one approach.


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