Why is my pain not getting better?

Minutes to read

We all experience pain, and it is a natural human response to want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. However, it can be frustrating to try various therapies and remedies only to experience little to no relief. This can leave us wondering why our pain isn't getting better. The truth is, pain is a complex experience that involves a combination of physical, psychological and social factors, and many people don't understand what truly contributes to their pain.

While there are many treatments and therapies available for pain, some methods may not be as effective as others. One common misconception about pain is that it can be cured with a few quick fixes, such as foam rolling, massage, or spinal adjustments. However, while these techniques may provide temporary relief, they often do not give the long-term relief from pain that many think they do.

Another commonly blamed culprit of pain is poor posture or a weak core. However, there is currently no evidence to suggest that these factors contribute to pain. In fact, many people with excellent posture and strong cores still experience pain.

So, what should you focus on if your pain isn't improving? The answer is just as complex as pain itself and is different for everyone. Improving pain is less about quick fixes and better posture and more about long-term behaviour change and stress management. Some factors that can positively impact pain include:

  1. Moving more: Even if you're experiencing pain, it's important to find ways to continue to move. This may include low-impact exercises, such as walking or swimming, or working with a health professional to develop a personalised exercise plan. Moving more can help reduce fear of pain and help return to normal activities. (Caneiro et al, 2022)
  2. Better sleep: Sleep is crucial for your body's ability to heal and repair. If you're not getting enough sleep or experiencing disrupted sleep due to pain, it can be challenging for your body to fully recover. It is important to develop good sleep hygiene to help your body through everyday life. (Pigeon et al 2012, Tang et al, 2014).
  3. Reducing stress: Stress can exacerbate pain and make it more challenging to manage. Finding ways to reduce stress, such as meditation, yoga, or therapy, can be helpful in managing pain. Although reducing stress can be difficult when in pain, it's important to address other lifestyle factors outside of pain that may be impacting our mental health. (Booth et al, 2017)
  4. Gaining a better understanding of pain: Learning more about how pain works can help you better manage your pain and reduce fear and anxiety surrounding it. Educating yourself about pain can help reduce the brain's response to pain signals, making them less intense and frequent. (Padro et al, 2018). Read more about what is pain in our other blog.

Remember, if your pain isn't improving, it's important to look beyond quick fixes and address the potentially more complex nature of your pain. Focusing on movement, sleep, stress reduction, and education can be helpful in managing pain and improving your overall quality of life.

Pain is not a one-size-fits-all experience, and it can be beneficial to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalised plan for managing your pain. If you need help understanding your pain or want to know more about what you can do to improve your pain book in with one of our allied health professionals now.


Booth, J., Moseley, G. L., Schiltenwolf, M.,Cashin, A., Davies, M., & Hübscher, M. (2017). Exercise for chronic musculoskeletal pain: a biopsychosocial approach. Musculoskeletal care15(4),413-421.

Caneizro, J.P., Smith, A., Bunzli, S., Linton, S., Moseley, G.L. and O’Sullivan, P., 2022. From fear to safety: a roadmap to recovery from musculoskeletal pain. Physical therapy102(2),p.pzab271.

Pigeon, W.R., Moynihan, J., Matteson-Rusby, S., Jungquist, C.R., Xia,Y., Tu, X. and Perlis, M.L., 2012. Comparative effectiveness of CBT interventions for co-morbid chronic pain & insomnia: a pilot study.Behaviour research and therapy, 50(11), pp.685-689.


Pardo, G. B., Girbés, E. L., Roussel, N. A.,Izquierdo, T. G., Penick, V. J., & Martín, D. P. (2018). Pain neurophysiology education and therapeutic exercise for patients with chronic low back pain: a single-blind randomised controlled trial. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation99(2), 338-347.


Tang, N.K. and Sanborn, A.N., 2014. Better quality sleep promotes daytime physical activity in patients with chronic pain? A multilevel analysis of the within-person relationship. PloS one, 9(3), p.e92158.

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