When it comes to pain, people are always searching for answers.
Some answers are easier to believe than others.
That’s why I’m not surprised when clients come in believing their structure diagnosis is the cause of all their pain. Blaming what they found on a scan is easy for people to wrap their heads around, and it’s often perpetuated by the medical community.
These beliefs can get in the way of clients progressing at the gym.
It can lead to them having catastrophic thoughts, feeling hopeless, and constantly blaming their body and victimizing themselves.
Strong held beliefs are hard to to change if you’re a fitness professional. You’re at a disadvantage compared to professionals with more letters behind your name.
The two maladaptive beliefs I run into the most with persistent pain clients are:
- Fragile mindset (Covered this two weeks ago in this post)
- Fixation on their structural diagnosis causing all their pain
Unfortunately, explaining to a client pain is influenced by more than what the scans show, doesn’t always go well.
Guess who doesn’t understand what nociception and nerve sensitivity means? Watered down Pain Science is still not watered down enough for people to be able to follow. Even if it’s beautifully done.
Do you know what happens when you start talking about the brain???
They’ll think you’re telling them it’s all in their head and their pain isn’t real. Even though that wasn’t the intention when you started drawing the brain and all the things that play into outputting pain. It can still be perceived that way.
Their perception of what you said:
Bulging disc, pain is perceived by the brain…..wait, brain = head…they’re saying it’s all in my head? they’re saying it’s not real?! Are they saying I’m crazy? All those medical doctors were wrong?!
Then they get defensive and no progress is made. Trust me…I’ve been there. I had a client tell me “That’s not what’s happening to me” after sending them Lorimer’s video.
For today’s blog I’m going to show you how I take the clients’ attention away from fixating only on their structure while simultaneously validating how they feel.
The goal is to have them see pain beyond a measure of damage and injury and to give them a sense of hope 🙂