Is your chronic pain a lifestyle disease: a behavioural approach to recovery

It’s not unimaginable that a sedentary lifestyle or an overactive lifestyle can both contribute to chronic pain.

When you try to make sense of your pain, you probably reason with a structure-based or damage-based narrative. Afterall, this is what most chiropractors or orthopaedic surgeons will talk about even though recent research has vigorously challenged them.

You see, Pain Science tells us that your symptom experience is complex.

Behaviour doesn’t occur in a vacuum

Psychology research tells us that ALL behaviour happen as a response to a stimulus. In other words, something must happen for you to behave a certain or take certain actions.

It is not intuitive because some of these stimuli can be outside of our awareness.

Pain sufferers often subconsciously stretch or crack their joints.

chiropractic treatment versus exercise
Cracking your joints may feel super good but the relief is often temporary. This is why we choose to focus on exercise plus education. We want you to experience long-term results so you don’t have to keep coming back!

To give you an example, it’s common for pain sufferers to stretch or crack a joint without realising they have actually done so.

I know it because my clients often do them right in front of me.

When I asked them about it, they sometimes cannot recall doing so.

This is a good example of how things in our lives can occur on a subconscious level.

Trust me, you don’t stretch because of the pain.

I often ask chronic pain sufferers to not stretch or react to their pain. Most are alarmed at my advice.

“But it will really hurt if I don’t stretch.”

Yes, yes. I hear you. But give it a shot. See what happens if you resist stretching or cracking your joints.

Does the pain increase in intensity?


Quite often, what we see is that the urge to stretch increases while the pain intensity largely remain the same.

If you were to go ahead with a stretch, you’d realise that the pain intensity (after stretching) is very similar to what it was before stretching. The shiok experience, in my opinion, comes from you giving into the urge to stretch, and has little to do with your pain experience.

Do more of what works!

man fishing
Sometimes getting good results is just a matter of doing things differently. As a chiropractor, my job is to provide the guidance you need to help you help yourself find freedom from pain.

In my opinion, you only get good results by doing what works.

Stretching, cracking your joints often give you an illusion of relief without actually helping you recover. Think about it, if stretch does work why would people do it for months and years but still live in pain?

According to the latest research, exercise works the best for your backache and neck stiffness. Do more of these.

If you have already been exercising but you are not getting better, seek professional help!

Just because I know how to bake a cake doesn’t mean it will taste good. Just because you know how to exercise doesn’t mean you know how to be pain-free.


Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.