How do you deal with a physio who is convinced your pain is in your head

I am sitting in the waiting room eagerly anticipating my appointment with a physio who believes all my pain is in my head. I had my first appointment two weeks ago and he sent me home with three YouTube videos to watch. Each of these videos basically state that should you convince your mind you are not in pain then you will be healthy and pain free in a matter of hours. After suffering half my adult life with chronic pain do I just go in and hit him with my walking stick and ask is this all in the mind

32 Replies

  • DO IT.only joking. you could try taking a photocopy of the recemended exercises from this site or the NHS choices site and say to them that these exercises are what I want to try because those on the videos are too painfull for me and no I cannot control it with my mind.....sue

  • Thanks, it just gets depressing to keep having people with no idea tell me how I feel and how to deal with it. Personally I think the only people the NHS should allow to give advice on chronic pain are those who have suffered it themselves

  • LOL I love this. I cant control it with my mind. I am am going to use that next time.

  • lol ill do it for you

  • I will happily post address lol

  • Morning hog sorry you are being treated this way, I once had a physio who told me it was always in my mind...some are so insensitive, they aren't inside your body are they, show these people this forum let them see just how many of us with same symptoms are suffering, don't think it could be in our ,Indus with us all having same symptoms, do you,.. What hospital do you go to hog2203..... Be thinking of you hope you get some positive results... Do let us know how you get on...hugs..Dee xx

  • Thanks Cookie72 for replying. He has put me on a pain understanding course so I will see how that goes. I am at the QEQM in Margate, to be honest I think it is one of those hospitals that just runs through the motions. I have had pain clinic and seen quite a few consultants in the past and all the time it is "sorry theres nothing we can do"

  • Is he going on the course to so he can understand pain?

  • Thank would mean him being able to have an understanding of how constant daily pain affects people when the course is finished enabling him to do his job properly so guess the answer would be no

  • In a way, I can actually empathise with a lot is in the mind. In 1982 I was told that I would be practically bedridden for 12 months.........with three children under 12, single parent, there was no way I could be bedridden, so I got up, and got on with things, and the doctors could not believe it when I walked in to the surgery. I am not saying all pain is in the head, but I do believe the mind is a wonderful thing, and can help. I have OA, RA, spondylosis, and fibro as my main problems,, so do have real, pain..however,, I can either give into it, and say poor old me,, or I can fight it, and get on with stuff...whereever possible I Will fight it, even when I actually feel like crying..that is too easy an option in general :)

  • Thanks lab-lover I think your story is the same as all of us. I had to give up work in 1998 due to my employer getting sick of me being off, since then I have refused to give in I started working for myself on my own market stall so if I had bad days I could take time off. That got too much around 7-8 years ago so I had to give that up and now run two internet webshops so I can keep working. I refuse to stay in bed although I could quite happily not get up a few days a week. I was up at 0400 today and will struggle through till tonight. I will refuse to let this beat me and I need to how my children that regardless of what life throws you, you still need t grab it by the horns and get on

  • I think this is awesome the way you have kept adapting.

  • It is adapt or let fibro win and I will not allow my children to think that it can win

  • Hi hog2203

    I am sorry to read that you have this problem with your physio at the present time. I have thought long and hard about this problem and I think there is only one answer? Talk to your physio in a calm and quiet manner, and ask him if he feels that it is all in your mind and tell him how offensive he comes across to you by insinuating this. Explain to him that you are sitting talking to him in a very composed way and that you are not prone to any form of fantasy or delusion and that this pain is very real and genuine. If he refuses to either listen or take you seriously, walk out and go home.

    You can then go to your GP and explain to them exactly what happened and ask your GP if they think that this is really conducive to your treatment, welfare and outcome?

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thank you TheAuthor for taking the time to reply to me, the problem I have is I live in a relatively remote area where hospitals are concerned. If I do not see this physio because we only have 3 hospitals in our area and the physio's all work in the same hospitals I would need to travel over a hundred miles to see another. I had 10 years of being told that nothing was wrong before being diagnosed as having fibro and since diagnosed I have had another 10 years being told that fibro is a made up illness. I find it now easier to just ignore everyone now and try to not complain, it gets really depressing at times sitting in the middle of the night wondering if you can spend you next day convincing people you are fine

  • Hi hog2203

    I am so sorry to read that you are stuck in the dilemma. Since you do not have any real choice with physios. It can be so exasperating trying to find solutions to problems like this. It really doesn't give you much room for action. I still think however, that I would talk to the physio and explain to them exactly how they are making you feel as you don't have anything to lose do you?

    You deserve the respect, and afforded dignity that any other patient would expect. It is only the physios limited capacity that has brought about this situation. I sincerely hope that you can be afforded the respect and dignity that you rightfully deserve.

    All my hopes and dreams for you.


  • Hi there I think it is disgusting that someone should treat you like this. It is very sad for you and I hope you complain, you deserve better. Trish

  • Hi denvajade thanks for replying, I do not complain not enough energy and experience tells me nothing will ever be done. It is good to just rant on here and know people care enough to reply and understand

  • The pain course I went on restored my depleted morale over this one.

    They looked at you as an individual instead I reading of a protocol sheet.

    And confirmed my theory that pushing away at their regime was counter productive and caused flare ups.

    Suggest you take along a tens machine invite them to ware it for the day smile and say I will be back tomorrow to relieve you of it.

    And no cheating taking it off over night.

    After all its only convincing yourself you are not in pain.

    You have to put your theory where your mouth is Mr Phsysio.

    Tis only fair.

    Everyone I have slapped mine on wants it stopped after seconds.

    Be interested in the utube links.

    Could you post them.


    Hope you have a peaceful day.

  • sorry this is the only one I can remember I think it is the right one. I screwed up and threw away the paper with the links on when I got annoyed with them. I am starting a pain course on 6th March so hopefully I will find it helpful and gain some insight from it

  • Get another physio.

  • brilliant answer xx

  • If only the NHS was funded enough to have enough physio's so I could change lol

  • physios have no understanding of fibro at all they think they no all the answers to what ever problem you have & in my experiences they have no idea they don't seem to care about you at all

  • Thanks lilian that is my point, I think the only people who can give advice on pain should be those who have suffered in the past with it. I would more than happily try to pas on any help I could give

  • Hello Hog, I had the same thing with the hospital physio. He said pain was like listening to an orchestra, he said I had been asked to listen to the violins. Then because I was listening for the violins I couldn't hear the rest of the orchestra. He said my pain was the same, if I focused on something other than pain I would not be in pain. If only it was that simple. I had also been referred to him with swollen painful knees & back pain, the physio suggested I lost weight and went bike riding. Yeah right! I don't think so. Lol I have been in pain since I was 16 years old, so sympathise with you.

  • Hi SquareD6, sorry to hear of your pan and experience with the physio's all too often they only see you after years of illness. When my pain started I was as fit as a fiddle, I was serving in the army and had my whole life to look forward to. All it took was 1 accident and that was it ever since pain. I now get told all too often that I am over weight and that is the root of all my pain in my knees. What they do not see is before I was 20 stone I was a physically fit 10 stone and it is only the pain that has stopped me exercising and losing weight. If my weight is the cause of pain why was it there before.

  • Thank you all so much for your replies it is great to hear all your views and how you all deal with the same situation. It is very sad that in this day and age people are still being treated like this

  • Is there any way you can go private?

  • haha sorry to laugh but I am self employed with 4 kids two of which still at home and 3 dogs, to afford the petrol to the hospital is a luxury so private is a world away

  • It seems to me that people have their own issues and take it out on people that are suffering. Mostly, they do this so that it gives them a sense of superiority and is a form of bullying. At other times they may genuinely want to help and resolve your problems and attempt to show you their insight. I have been treated badly by such people and have been in different types of pain, with one type being a delusional pain which was fixed with anti-psychotics. Whatever type of pain you are in it can be a great trial. From what little I know of pain wherever it is felt the beginning of it comes from the brain. The mind or brain is a funny thing indeed. Some people are able to move away from the pain and be more mobile just by another kind person who means well saying something like the following: It has been proven that these foods can take your pain away. The person in pain then has them and the pain is greatly alleviated and they are more mobile. Another person is given the same information, tries the food and remains in pain and limited in mobility. It is a mystery. If someone depresses you, no matter what they have to offer, my advice is that you are better off without them.

  • See if there is a specialist pain physio in your area. I see one at my hospital and she is great!

    I am sorry that you are experiencing this and I hope there is a change.

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