There is lots of great new science around pain.
The central message is that persistent pain is a more about a learned reflex in your nervous system and is not about the tissues – even if there are X-rays showing arthritis or MRI’s showing tears.
Chronic pain nearly always involves unconscious habit, meaning and emotion, the pain experience gets divorced from what is actually happening in the tissues.
Understanding now the nervous system works turns out to be a very good intervention in preventing pain. In a recent study in Australia half an hour reading a leaflet on understanding pain plus 2 follow up phone calls, performed as well as well as 20 (!) sessions of physio for people in whiplash. Jeez.
That, together with light touch therapies (not therapies that cause pain – you do not change pain by creating more pain), movement education (e.g. Feldenkrais, pilates, soft yoga, tai chi) and de-stressing/clearing old trauma patterns (see www.trelondon.com for my preferred method) seem to be the best strategies.
Paul Ingraham throws out some great challenges:
His self help guides are very good as well.
The opening story in the article below is really moving.
Very, very good book
Painful Yarns (2007) by leading pain researcher Lorimer Moseley is excellent. He makes pain funny, required reading I reckon for everyone, and an easy read. Only available as an ebook.
These short videos are also excellent
5 mins on understanding pain is about the nervous system
Longer, funny talk by leading pain researcher Lorimer Moseley
Good luck, its a wad of stuff to read I know, maybe start with the 5 min video.
There is lots you can do that is drug and surgery free.