Detailed, evidence-based help for common painful problems

Pain vs. 1600 pounds 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Yoga teacher Byron Selorme has a history of chronic shoulder, neck and hip pain. Then he decided to re-roof his house by himself. What happened after hauling 1,600 lbs of shingles? Which was, I gather, roughly “way” more physical strain than he was used to? Well … he was just fine: “I did not have any increase in pain. In fact it had actually lessened a bit.” How can this be? If there was something “really wrong” with is shoulder and neck to begin with, how could he possibly get away that? Maybe some conditioning helped. In his own words, “Understanding pain and why we hurt can actually make a huge difference.” I’ve heard a lot of stories like this over the years: almost freakish shifts in what people feel and what they’re capable of. “If I had listened to the sensations in my Neck, Shoulder, and Hip I would never have planned to do this project. But I have learned that how they feel does not necessarily tell me whether they are capable or not.” Indeed!

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