Pain traffic light

June 8, 2022

When it comes to pain and injury, traffic light systems are a pretty easy way to think about things. I think we can all agree green light, everything’s great, no pain go for your life. Red light, something big’s happened, we need to stop but in terms of pain, particularly pain that comes on without a big incident, there’s no big traumatic incident, but it does hurt, I want you to think of that as the orange light. So this is where it gets tricky because an orange light as you’re driving through it, maybe sometimes you should stop, sometimes you should keep going. It’s always dependent on the situation and just because last time it was an orange light and you stopped doesn’t mean you have to stop this time. You might be a bit closer to the light, you might have a bit less time, the guy behind you might be going way too fast. So it’s always dependent on the situation you’re in and ultimately the person who decides whether or not you should stop or go is you. If you’re thinking that it’s an orange light, rather than a red light, you can see what happens, if it’s more than you think you like, pull back and stop but if it’s okay, then go. The other thing to do is get more information, so if you are not sure, then that’s where a health professional can help you assess, get more information and work out whether it’s an orange light that you can get through or whether it’s an orange light where maybe you should stop. Maybe we need more investigations, maybe we need to do some tests, maybe we need to do some other experiments with different types of load and moving to work out whether it’s more of a green or more of a red. Because sometimes when you go through orange lights, there’s a speed camera attached and you get stung, but most of the time you can get through pretty safe and once you’re on the other side, then you realize that it was okay. So have a think about when you’re feeling that pain, particularly one without a big incident. Think of it as an orange light, if you are in charge of making the decision, if you feel confident to stop or go great. If you’re unsure, that’s when you ask for help and see if you can get more information, get someone else to look at it and help you make a decision about whether you should stop or whether you should go.