5 (Busted) Myths About Chronic Pain

chronic pain

Chronic pain is an issue that affects many people, yet there are still misconceptions and myths out there that can lead to a lack of understanding. This article will dispel those myths and provide you with the truth about chronic pain. So if you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, read on for some important facts about this condition.

Introduction to Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a condition that persists for weeks, months, or even years. The pain may always be there or may come and go. It can occur in any part of your body and can be caused by an injury, illness, or underlying health condition. Chronic pain can interfere with your ability to perform daily activities and can negatively impact your quality of life. This can cause depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping, all of which can exacerbate your pain. This reaction establishes a difficult-to-break cycle.

Many myths about chronic pain can make it difficult to understand and manage. Let’s dispel some of these myths so you can start your recovery.

Myth 1: Chronic Pain is All in Your Head

This is one of the most damaging myths about chronic pain. Just because you cannot see the source of your pain does not mean it is not real. Chronic pain is a complex condition that involves both physical and psychological factors.
It can be tough to cope with chronic pain. From the stigma attached to being a “complainer” to feeling like your issues are not being taken seriously, it can be a constant battle of managing the physical pain while seeking validation that it is genuine and requires recognition.

In this recent interview, Pause Pain & Wellness’ President Dr. Kirk Kinard brought clarity and understanding to patients by acknowledging that pain is valid and should not be dismissed as “all in your head.”

Patients do not imagine chronic pain. It is a constant presence in your life. And, whether you like it or not, it dictates your day. Chronic pain limits how long you can go grocery shopping, how much sports activity you can perform, and even what kind of work you can do.

You cannot control chronic pain unless you have effective symptom management. And you never know what type of day you’ll have on a pain scale ranging from light to severe. It might be a good day, with minimal discomfort. Then there are days when even walking the dog is difficult.

Myth #2: Pain Will Go Away on Its Own

Chronic pain is often written off as something that will eventually go away on its own, but this isn’t the case. For anyone with chronic pain, the myth of it magically going away on its own can create unrealistic expectations and delay proper treatment. 

If persistent pain goes away, it is no longer chronic pain. However, it does happen to patients on occasion. For example, patients may lose weight and notice their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms improve. In some circumstances, it is entirely resolved.

There are five forms that patients might experience:

  • Nerve pain
  • Bone pain
  • Pain in the soft tissues
  • Referred pain
  • Phantom pain

Remember how Dr. Kinard mentioned chronic pain wasn’t all in your head? Phantom pain is the only exception to this rule, which refers to persistent painful feelings that appear to originate from a limb that no longer exists. This is true for anybody who has undergone a surgical amputation. On a pain scale or patient inventory (rating system), it might vary from mild to moderate to severe.

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, it’s essential to see a healthcare provider. They can help you develop a treatment plan that may include medication and other interventions.

Myth #3: You Can’t Get a Diagnosis of Chronic Pain

It is a common myth that you can’t get a diagnosis of constant pain. This is not true. A healthcare provider can diagnose it based on your symptoms and medical history. 

You may be asked to rate your pain. There are other measures, but the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Scale© is the most often used in the United States. That’s because it’s simple to use: point at the face that best represents how you feel.

There are, of course, several additional pain scales. And healthcare practitioners will use the one they feel offers the most accurate pain measurement. The critical thing to understand about chronic pain is that, while it is persistent, its intensity varies. It might be bearable with painkillers and some topical treatments one day and utterly incapacitating the next.

Furthermore, many people with a medical marijuana card may have access to varied potencies of cannabis to treat constant pain symptoms. Cannabis concentrates may be beneficial on days when the pain is moderate to severe.

Myth #4: Treating Chronic Pain with Cannabis Means Getting High

While it is true that THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, can provide relief from pain, it is not the only option. CBD, another cannabinoid found in cannabis, is effective in treating chronic pain without causing the psychoactive effects associated with THC.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a nonintoxicating cannabinoid present in cannabis. It has been found in tests to decrease inflammation, pain, nausea, and anxiety.

CBD may be a helpful treatment for many types of epilepsy, as well as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, PTSD, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, IBS and Crohn’s disease, and anxiety, among other disorders.

Myth #5: Natural Chronic Pain Relief Only Works with High-Potency Cannabis Products

High-potency cannabis products are not the only natural persistent pain relief option that works. Various low-potency options can be just as effective. The key is to find the right product for your individual needs.

Cannabis products come in a wide range of potencies, from low to high. And while high-potency products may work better for some people, they’re not necessarily the best option for everyone.

In fact, low-potency cannabis products can often be just as effective at managing chronic pain without the potential side effects that can come with higher doses.

The key is to consult a healthcare provider to find what works best for you. They can help you start with low doses and gradually increase them if needed. 


It’s important to remember that chronic pain is a real condition and not just something people make up. It can be debilitating, frustrating, and difficult to manage, but understanding the facts can help provide some relief. The five myths we explored are just a few of the many misconceptions out there about chronic pain – so make sure you consult a healthcare provider to find out how you can deal with your chronic pain.