The Psychology of Chronic Pain

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The Psychology of Chronic Pain

This makes sense if you think about it, but a study published in the Journal of Pain suggests that pessimism about recovery is a significant predictor of chronic pain. In this study, researchers followed adults with traumatic, but not life-threatening orthopedic injuries. They found that patients who believed that they wouldn't recover soon were four times as likely to report pain six months later.

Being injured stinks, and it's ok to be angry when you get hurt. But you can help yourself by believing in your recovery. Put your energy into your physical therapy, and know that your running (or other sports) will be there waiting for you.

A tip for staying positive--plan your next race. Be realistic. If you have a broken foot, don't sign up for a 10K next weekend. But look a few months down the road and sign up for a race that sounds right to you, given your training level, whether it is a 5K or marathon. Having something to look forward to can help you stay positive and committed to a smart recovery.

For more about the pain study, here's the press release:



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