3 rules to overcome chronic pain from a Survivor champion

According to the CDC, chronic pain is a fact of life for over 20 percent of adults.

And if you’re part of that one in five, you know just how much of an impact that pain can have on your ability to work, play and simply enjoy your life.

But what if you could learn to “reframe your pain” to better manage your condition?

That is exactly the strategy being recommended by a former Survivor champion, who used her three specific concepts to beat back her own pain and come out a winner.

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Using pain science to breakthrough to relief

That winner is none other than 2021 Australian Survivor champion and University of South Australia PhD candidate, Hayley Leake.

And she credits her knowledge and research into modern pain science for helping her to make it to the end and take home the big money.

“In the final challenge on Survivor, I stood on narrow pegs for almost five and a half hours. To manage that pain, I tried to de-threaten the challenge in my mind by repeating to myself: ‘My feet are strong, my body is safe, this is not dangerous.’ Having a deeper than usual understanding of how pain works thanks to my research, and how strong and resilient our body tissue is, probably also reduced my pain during that task,” says Leake.

So what does her research show is the secret to better managing pain?

She suggests employing three new ways to think about that pain, including:

  1. Pain does not mean that my body is damaged.
  2. Thoughts, emotions and experiences affect pain.
  3. I can retrain my overprotective pain system.

Leake not only found personal success with this approach, so did the majority of 97 chronic pain patients that were challenged to put these pain science education concepts into action by her research team.

The results? They were able to learn that pain isn’t always the sign of a physical injury, that stress and emotions can affect that pain and that learning to think of chronic pain as an “overprotection” can help reduce symptoms.

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Simple strategies for pain relief

So if you’re living with chronic pain, put the advice of Leake and her team to work for you and embrace her three lessons.

You’d be in good company. That’s because cognitive behavioral therapies have been shown effective for pain management time and again.

For even more help overcoming your aches and pain naturally, you can also try:

  • Mindful breathing – This meditation technique can offer serious pain relief help when combined with a simple hack.
  • A cup a dayOrange juice has been found to reduce inflammation that can go hand-in-hand with chronic pain.
  • CBD – Cannabidiol has been found to help combat even the pain of fibromyalgia.
  • Dietary changes – Certain foods, including common oils, can skyrocket inflammation. That’s why eating a diet that embrace anti-inflammatory veggies and oils, such as the Mediterranean diet is so important.
  • Consider natural pain relievers – Vitamin D, willow bark and turmeric are among some of the most researched natural pain relievers.

Each step you take is one more toward the possibility of pain-free living.

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Can we unlearn pain? Helping make sense of chronic pain – The University of South Australia

Chronic Pain and High-impact Chronic Pain Among U.S. Adults, 2019 – CDC


Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.