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Breaking Free from the 5 F's: How They Keep You Locked in Chronic Pain and How to Undo the Damage


Chronic physical pain is not just a physical sensation; it's a complex interplay of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that can exacerbate the suffering. The "5 F's" - Focusing, Fixing, Frustrated, Fearing, and Fighting - represent common reactions to pain that, though natural, can often perpetuate and intensify the experience. In this blog post, we'll delve into how the 5 F's can keep you locked in physical pain and provide strategies to undo the damage and regain control of your life.

Understanding the 5 F's

1. Focusing: Chronic pain often becomes the center of attention. The more you focus on your pain, the more intense and overwhelming it can seem. This hyper-vigilance can trap you in a perpetual cycle of suffering.

2. Fixing: The desire to find a quick solution to your pain is understandable, but an obsession with "fixing" can lead to heightened stress and frustration when relief is elusive. This stress can exacerbate the perception of pain.

3. Frustrated: Living with chronic pain can be frustrating, especially when it disrupts your daily life and plans. Frustration can lead to emotional exhaustion and can even intensify pain, as the tension it creates can make the discomfort worse.

4. Fearing: Fear of pain, its causes, or its consequences can result in avoidance behaviors. Avoiding activities you associate with pain might provide temporary relief, but it can also lead to reduced mobility, muscle weakness, and emotional isolation.

5. Fighting: Resisting or "fighting" the pain with sheer willpower can be exhausting and counterproductive. This struggle often results in increased tension in the body, which can amplify the pain you're trying to overcome.

Undoing the Damage of the 5 F's

1. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques can help you shift your focus away from pain and into the present moment. By observing pain without judgment, you can reduce its emotional impact and alleviate suffering.

2. Emotional Regulation: Learn to manage the emotional responses to pain through relaxation and stress-reduction techniques. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce the perception of pain.

3. Acceptance: Acknowledge the presence of pain in the precise moment without judgment. Acceptance doesn't mean giving up, but rather understanding that pain is part of your current reality. You must remember that your current reality is not a life sentence and over time, you can change your pain experience. Accepting exactly where you are currently and understanding that you are working to change your future can reduce the emotional suffering associated with pain.

4. Gradual Exposure: With the guidance of healthcare professionals like Cynthia Austin, NBC-HWC, RMT, you can slowly reintroduce activities that you've been avoiding due to pain. This can help desensitize your fear response and rebuild your confidence.

5. Positive Coping Strategies: Engage in positive coping mechanisms like physical therapy, exercise, and psychological support. A comprehensive approach often provides more sustainable relief than simply "fighting" the pain.

6. Consult Healthcare Professionals: Seek guidance from healthcare specialists like Cynthia Austin, NBC-HWC, RMT, who specialize in pain recovery and pain reduction. She can provide personalized strategies and therapies to help you manage and alleviate your pain effectively.


The 5 F's are common reactions to chronic physical pain, but they can keep you trapped in a cycle of suffering. Breaking free from this cycle involves shifting your perspective, managing your emotions, and adopting positive coping strategies. While undoing the damage of the 5 F's may take time and effort, it's a worthwhile journey to regain control of your life and reduce the impact of physical pain. Consulting with healthcare professionals can provide valuable support and guidance throughout this process.

Contact us today for help with your journey out of pain. We help frustrated people living with chronic pain who are tired of suffering discover their individualized MPC Pain-Free Formula™ with the goal of recovery or significantly reducing pain so they can participate fully in life again. Let us help you rebuild after a chronic pain diagnosis even if it has been decades.

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Cynthia Austin, NBC-HWC, RMT


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