Pain Concern
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Moan alert

Sorry, lots of people here far worse off than me. Having very frequent head aches and evil stabs of pain around my eye, the usual pain stuff but on top of blooming hay fever (and it's not sinus pain, it's just me). Really tired thanks to medication for other problems, which interacts with my usual pain relief pills of choice, so that's pants.

Getting a little bit fed up and bored of it again. Waiting for next pain clinic appointment - hopefully in the next few weeks. Went yesterday and was told I need to have more injections at more regular intervals (which is OK, I don't mind so long as it works), and then "review it in a year". Another WHOLE YEAR!

Tried doing the mindful - living-in-the moment - and -not-worrying-about-it thing, but sometimes all that psychology just doesn't work, and to be honest, what's wrong with saying sometimes that this pain malarky just sucks?

18 Replies

It's good to get it off your chest have a moan or a rant the whole point of this forum .

Take care


Nothing wrong with saying pain sucks if you can accept it at face value. By accepting that pain sucks, it's no longer a problem, it becomes part of you, like the freckles on your arms, or your crooked little finger. Then it deseves no more attention than these things - honestly, when was the last time you really thought about, looked at, cursed, moaned about, cried about the freckles on your arm? Unless you were monitoring them for skin cancer, I doubt you'd think about them at all.

By using mindfullness and other brain power strategies, you reduce your pain's significance to that of your freckles. You liberate yourself from the burden of pain.

Yes, unfortunately you still feel it, but when it's not significant anymore it fades into the background. With less direct focus on your pain, it seems less, with more things occupying and exercising your brain using different brainwaves, the less space there is to focus on the pain, again melting it into the background.

If you do this for years, you get to the point where you actually have to work very hard to feel the pain as it actually is. And you will only do this once, the shock realisation of what you put up with can be quite emotional.


Please God/gods, anyone, let me achieve that state one day soon!


I think I can mostly acknowledge the pain but not worry about it, something that's come with time. I often feel a fraud going to the pain clinic because I don't see myself as debilitated as others in the waiting room. It felt as if by accepting more treatment, the pain was being made to be something bigger than it is. But on the other hand, I have had several days of really struggling with it, so perhaps it sometimes is more of a problem than I allow it to be, if that makes sense?


Hi tea drinker,

i was having this same effect and in the end the doctor got me a MRI of the head and neck, it turned out it was my neck that was causing the headache and pain in the eyes as i have spondylitis of my neck the specialist at the hospital told me there is good and bad news, he then said i may not have wanted to say it but he bet i had been thinking i may have a tumor in my brain i said yes i had been thinking that he went on to say that is the good news there is nothing like that but the bad news is your head is going to fall off he went on to say that my neck was the worse he had ever seen in his life and that soon i would have to start wearing a collar then later i would end up with a frame to hold my head up he told me to try and ignore the pain until i could not stand it any longer and to come back then and that they would sort it out later but that was around 15 years ago and i have not been back but i think all the medication i take for my back is masking the pain from my neck which for me is good.

i hope you get your pain under control soon,

regards Poppy Ann.


You are right "the mindful - living-in-the moment - and -not-worrying-about-it thing" does not work. For the simple thing it is not mindfulness.

Mindfulness and living in the moment is the latest in thing because there is lots of money to be made from it. I have been practising Mindfulness for about 40 years. It has never stopped pain. It is no wonder cure. It requires a learning curve and requires getting helpful advice from Buddhist monks who practise it 24/7.

I can tell you what to do and you will do something very different from what I tell you, because language does not share inner experience. We all have to tread our own path and make our own maps of what our own inner experience and how we work is.

Mindfulness is a tool. Like all tools you have to develop the skill to use it. You practise it with no expectation of what it will achieve. That is the first rule that is very important. There must be no expectation. You come to mindfulness with what you know from your past experience. What you know may be totally wrong and you may need to unlearn everything you think you know and replace it with something else which you may discover while engaging in the practice of mindfulness.

I have pain. I have learnt that the pain can be different. I have learnt that I can avoid making my pain worse than need be. I can pick up things that indicate that if I ignore them will cause me grief later. Learning all this takes time. Weeks, months years. Wrong approaches can easily be adopted and cause grief. Hence the need to know where the local Buddhist practitioners are who can give advice and enable you to re-look at your practice of mindfulness.

Hope this helps


Thank you, your comments have made a lot of sense to me. I realise that most of the time I can employ the strategies that make the pain seem very insignificant and it doesn't interfere with my life. Every now and again things get a little rocky, but it will pass.


John, the mindfulness I am talking about is a Western version. It is probably a very small part of the Eastern mindfullness. It is a tool that is used alongside other strategies to make a task easier, more bearable, and do able.

You experience the moment with all your senses, your whole attention is focused on the task, you have planned, paced, set goals (if you need goals in life), broken the task down into small sections, prepared your body with stretches. Then you use western mindfullness to get the job done.

By focusing totally on something, using all your senses, you are fcilling your brain with lots of new info that needs processing. Your brain gets busy doing this. While it is doing this it does not pay as much attention to the pain messages, most people feeling less to no pain during these times. so for however long the task is, you get reduced to no pain.

It is a distraction method. I have never said it cures pain. What it does do is lessen the pain, in some instances no pain is felt for short times. Then what you do is fill your day with several of these episodes, to get more times with less or no pain. The more you do it, the more your brain begins to block out the pain messages.

The same happens with meditation. When you are in a deep meditative state you feel no pain. So for that hour, or longer if you have fallen asleep you are painfree. Again, meditation does not cure pain, it is a tool to get some pain free time, and the more you do it, the better your body responds by getting the same effect with lighter meditative states.

From my own experience, of taking pain killers - I had a 20 min wait for it to kick in, it "took the edge off" and run out bgefore cthe next dose was due. They, in my opinion are less sucessful at "curing pain".

John, you are talking about the Eastern mindfullness which is more of a lifestyle than a strategy. It does take a long time to learn and not everyone is able to commit to that. Western practitioners have taken this one element that can be used in isolation and turned it into a tool of distraction. So perhaps it should no be called mindfullness.

I see the difference in the Eastern and Western styles as those of accupuncture. Western accupuncture only has elements of the Eastern style, but both are called accupuncture.

Western mindfulness teaches you about yourself, dispels fear, helps you read your pain, relaxes your mind and body, it occupies your brain with lots of new information to process and gives you minutes/hours with reduced or no pain. If you do it regularly, the pain does melt into the backgound. By focusing on the pain less, you feel it less. It really is that simple.

As for money making, yes sadly there those who will exploit every thing. I got my 6 week western mindfullness on the nhs in 2006. and I am very happy with it and the results it produces. It has not made me want to learn the full Eastern mindfullness as it is enough for my needs.


Hi Zanna

Mindfulness is not a tool of distraction. it is a tool for observation, noticing what happens when you do something and developing a grasp of cause and effect. It can be problematic at times which is why the ability to speak and learn from more advanced practitioners is often required.

It is possible to turn it into a tool of distraction. This is okay at some point in time because you have to map out your own territory during the process of learning the things that mindfulness can teach you. However if you use it only as a tool of distraction you will not get the full benefits that you can get from it.

As a lifestyle choice the only people who practice it 24/7 are monks. The rest of us lay people do not practice it that much.

Mindfulness is not about "relaxes your mind and body". The person who taught you that did not teach you Mindfulness how ever well meaning they were. I have spent 18 months learning the NHS version of Mindfulness from someone who did research into the subject.

I don't use Mindfulness to make my pain less. I use mindfulness to observe the way my body is producing my pain and then change the way my body behaves so that it does not do the things that cause me pain. I also use Mindfulness to observe how my mind makes my pain worse and then modify how my mind is doing things so that my mind does not make my pain worse than what it need be.

My pain is a signal to me that I am doing something wrong with my body. I welcome the pain I don't try and make it less. I change the way the muscles behave when I am having pain. This reduces the pain considerably.

Of course it does help that I have a background in Alexander Technique and T'ai Chi. This background does change the way I use mindfulness.

Meditation_A_Way_of_Awakening_-_Ajahn_Sucitto.pdf is worth looking at. It is a free download:

Have a look at the book. I think you may find it useful.


Maybe what I am doing is not proper mindfulness then but has its roots there. Maybe I have been misled along the way. I can only report what I have been taught, how I use it and how it works for me.

My pain clinic attendance was 8 years ago, and was the second one they did. I suspect techniques, strategies etc have been fine tuned since then.

I've got some yoga apps on my tablet specially for back pain. I'm working my way through them. I'm only managing a hold for 10 seconds or so, but I can build on that each day. This is highlighting some tight muscles deeper in my core and is surprisingly painless (in the sense of not causing any more pain), Although my balance, which is not 100% at the best of times, was affected for a few minutes afterwards.

I like to mix things up and do different things from time to time. I think my body gets used to treatments and strategies don't seem to work as well after a while. I can't always increase to a higher level because it's too much for my body.

I do believe that occupying my brain with positive thoughts, focusing on tasks fully, and meditation, getting into the zone, go a long way in blocking the pain messages. These are not used in isolation though. It is hard work to get a routine established that doesn't eat too much into your day.

Thanks for the links - I'll have a read.


Please do not use yoga apps without instruction from a yoga teacher.

There are subtleties which a yoga teacher who is seeing you in action can point out to you. Holding something for 10 seconds may be okay or it may not be okay depending on how well your propioceptors are functioning.

For the propioceptors to work you need to undo some of the tensions around them. This needs input from other people.

If you can find where your local Hindu temple is then you should be able access free yoga classes.

Hope this is helpful


Thanks John, I'm just doing a few to see if my body can cope with it before joining a class. I know about body balance and breathing from pilates, which I do at home after going to a class for a year.

Just think it's time to change things. There's no point going to a class if I can't do much, at least trying this at home, I can say which ones cause me trouble or I just can't do.

I know to get the best results I need someone to see how my body is behaving, or not, and maybe adapt things for me, to work up to more complex things.


I agree totally!!!! Hoping you feel better!!!! xxx Mitzi


Thanks. Things will get better, I know they will. My pain clinic appointment came today and it's only just over a week to wait - I am very grateful that they have made such an effort to get things sorted out so quickly.

Meanwhile, I am going to sort out my emergency supplies of things that make me feel better (medicinal and other).


Absolutely agree


We keep it contained in its barbed wire cage. But it has the right to howl though the gaps when we let down our guard and it glimpses the real impact of

Living in the moment.

And I for one want to pass the unremittingness of it on for a bit. So I can recharge the batteries.

To fight on for another day.

Sending you a warm soft fluffie. Here catch. Cuddle it and howl or punch its lights out depending on the moment.




Fluffie caught, stuffing squeezed out of it then refluffed, & sent back your way.


Your symptoms sound a lot like mine. I was diagnosed with Occipital neuralgia after many years of awful, sickening pain/headaches I was treated for Trigeminal neuralgia, Migraines and was told to go to the dentist, something I always do anyhow,it took me talking to another patient ,at an un-related clinic appointment,after she told me about her symptoms I couldn't believe how similar we were, I mentioned it to my G.P who did some research and referred me to our headache clinic, who agreed that was what it was,I was so relieved I cried, at last an answer, I no longer think I'm crazy, maybe you could mention it to your G.P, If he is unsympathetic, change him ! I have come across some awful G.P's in my life, and some very good ones, you have to find one who at least takes your pain seriously. Good luck, I hope you find an answer soon.


Mine is good, he got me into the pain clinic, for which I am very grateful. I have been investigated for all sorts of head and dental/ jaw things, but the pain is related to my spine. I am having injections at the pain clinic which are helpful, but have recently worn off, as they do.

You are right, it is a huge relief when they tell you what the problem is after all that time.


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