Pain: Know Thy Enemy

Know Thy Enemy. It’s a simple concept that reverberates throughout society, but how much do we heed these ancient words or ponder why it’s good to know one’s enemy. It’s pretty simple, really. In order to battle something and win, we need to know how it operates, learn its weaknesses and strengths. We need to know where it might be most vulnerable so we can overcome its force. While this often applies to armies and politics, pain and health problems are really no different. We’re lost if we cannot understand the enemy we’re dealing with, from its original source to the allies its called in for reinforcements. While there are a number of ways to win against skirmishes with pain and make it seem a less formidable foe, we have to know the source of our pain in order to defeat it completely.

One of the first things this video says about pain is that when we understand how pain works, we feel less powerless in the face of it. Being a seasoned general in this war, I couldn’t agree more. The video is less than 5 minutes long, yet it explains a great deal about how pain works from a biological standpoint and includes a number of factors known to increase or decrease pain.

Why is this important? Because a multi-disciplinary holistic approach is often the best tactic to defeat pain. You can’t always address the original cause and win. Sometimes those allies are sore losers and keep the fight up for their lost foes. Sometimes the pain comes from another source, within our own camp. Things like losing familial support and friendships and other things that impact positive mental health can play an important role in the levels of pain we experience in chronic illness. Watch the video to find out more about the many contributors to chronic pain.

Knowing this, what are some of the things you can try to eliminate or reduce your pain levels? What were you surprised by the most? What did you feel resistant or skeptical about? Answering these questions could help you get to the bottom of these feelings and lead you to better paths of healing your pain.

On the flip side, what are some of the things that have brought you relief in the past that surprised you? Is it something you’re still utilizing or did it fall by the wayside? How much relief did you get from it at the time? Share it below in the comments! You just might be helping another chronic pain patient to find relief!


Now that you understand the many different mechanisms behind chronic pain, check out some of the great stuff we’ve reviewed that reduces pain in a variety of ways:

This video was also saved to our Youtube channel playlists where you can find many other symptom and condition specific lectures, exercise videos, and so much more.

12 thoughts on “Pain: Know Thy Enemy

  1. Very informative. There are times I can feel less pain when I divert (mind) to work ignoring pain (mind over matter) . . .but there are some pains like gout pain when high uric acid level, that can only be healed through medication.
    Thanks. also welcome to visit my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree. I compartmentalize a lot of my pain and manage to lock it away most of the time, but I cannot ignore severe pain, especially nerve related. I’ve been dealing with an exposed root on a tooth that has me losing a lot of sleep and work right now. Makes me feel about as tough as a marshmallow. Unfortunately, there is no medication I can take that anyone will prescribe.

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  2. Great little video. Super informative!! I have to agree with Caz, though. Unfortunately, what works best for me are prescriptions. I use some other tools, such as Essential Oils and Lidocaine patches, but mostly, I rely on Tramadol, Oxycodone and Fioricet (for migraines). Although not for lack of trying to find better alternatives! Thanks Michelle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stace. Thanks for sharing what helps you. Given that I’m allergic, it’s been a very long time since I’ve had anything more powerful in a prescription than a toradol injection. I’ve found so many wonderful things that work in different ways. I’m glad I gave up trying to find a pain medication that actually worked for me. I never would have found out exercise, fasciablasting and natural anti-inflammatories work better and eliminates a huge set of side effects and misery. It’s great you and Caz can handle these meds without problem and you have something that works for you. We should all be so lucky as to find not only what works, but what gives us our best lives.

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      1. Oh goodness, Michelle. I wish anything alternative or holistic helped for me. Although I guess Turmeric does. I have tried countless products, supplements, treatments, a TENS unit, dietary changes and nothing ever helps. I’m really happy you have found success with things along that line. It’s so much healthier. I thoroughly detest taking so many meds. Great post with some great ideas! As always, thanks!! ❤ Stace

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Stacey, I don’t always get subtlety and sometimes my tone can be way off. I can’t help but feel like maybe I’ve offended you, though. So, I just want to be clear and apologize. I truly believe we all have to take our own paths and choose our own medications for ourselves. We all have so many things to consider; biology, tolerance, what we can and can’t live with in side effects, cost, family and social pressures, doctor advice, etc. What works for one of us could be a disaster drug for someone else, regardless of whether it’s nature derived or not. I would never presume to judge another person’s healthcare decisions. If my tone came off that way, please forgive me and understand it was unintentional. I value our relationship and I want to make sure we’re okay. xx

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh my goodness, Michelle? Please forgive me if I ever gave you the wrong intention. I thoroughly apologize!!! NO!!! I am NOT offended and my response was 100% sincere (no subtle hidden meanings)!!
            I am absolutely THRILLED alternative measures work for you! I have tried probably ten times to detox off medication and try to do what you do, but I haven’t found any success. It has not been for lack of trying though. I think it’s great when any number of things can bring anyone relief. And I am FAR from judging what ANY of us do to be able to live.
            Whether it’s diet, alternative offerings, medication or meditation, I think it’s great that we can share what works for ourselves, knowing that maybe it will help someone else.
            I’m sorry you got anything else out of my response. Like you, I value our friendship. Sometimes our true meanings can get lost in the words we type. But I’m all good if you’re all good!!! As always, much love and an extra hug since you were worried!!! ❤️Stace

            thanks for the post!!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that arming yourself with knowledge & understanding is so important, as you say, with trying to identify causes & possible treatments to better manage chronic pain. I must admit I’ve not found anything to be hugely helpful aside from prescription medications. Sumatriptan for migraine, Tramadol for joint/muscle pain. I try to use the lowest amounts each day but enough to get by; taking Tramadol was a decision that took me ages, I wanted to avoid the need for it but I eventually had to accept I needed help. For lower level help, I find things like cold gel eye masks for your eyes/head, Voltarol muscle rub, pacing activities, lying down propped on pillows now for me due to my back & hips as I can’t sit in a ‘normal’ chair, and I’m hoping to try Turmeric soon as well, and with any luck CBD if I can get a more reasonably priced higher strength option in the UK. It’d be interesting to hear what others find helpful.
    Great post (love the cartoon style of the video!)
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I came across this video on YouTube, I thought “everyone needs to see this!” I love the idea of people listing what helps them! Great idea. Of course what I use is all over this page, but I hope others join in. I hope you find a better CBD. It’s one thing I haven’t talked about that helps with several of my symptoms. Thanks so much for sharing your pain arsenal with us!

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