How to Understand Your Pain Triggers

Published March 19, 2017

The more you know about why you experience pain, the more you may be able to do to prevent it in the first place. Sometimes the cause of your pain is obvious, like for a cut or burn. But other times, although you know what type of pain you have – you may not know the underlying cause – or pain ‘trigger’.

Injuries can be another obvious reason for pain, but do certain activities make the pain worse, like running, walking up or downhill, stretching? For pain-causing conditions do certain types of weather bring on your aches? For tension headache do you spend long periods sitting at a computer or with poor posture? Migraines can have a multitude of potential triggers including hormones, stress, certain foods, flickering lights and perfume. Period pain is triggered by hormonal fluctuations .

Once you know what contributes to your pain, this can be useful information for you and your healthcare professional to help you ease it. If you experience recurring episodes of pain, try keeping a pain diary:

  • When did your pain start?
  • When did it end?
  • What made it better?
  • What did you eat in the days before?
  • How have you been feeling emotionally?
  • What physical activities have you been doing?

You may not be able to avoid your pain triggers, but once you recognise them, you can prepare yourself to face them.

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