Health Advice



Don't let pain get the better of you

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Everyone loves a good disaster, apparently. The top 10 grossing disaster films (from No. 1 "Titanic," which took in well over $2 billion, to No. 10 "Twister" with $494 million) have grossed a combined total somewhere north of $8 billion.

While scary fictional catastrophes can entertain and amuse, catastrophizing about your level of chronic pain ("I am never going to feel better!") doesn't produce an enjoyable outcome. It torpedoes your physical and mental health.

Researchers from Penn State looked at data provided by 143 older folks with knee osteoarthritis and found that on the days those folks reported that pain was causing them to have an exaggerated feeling of helplessness or hopelessness, they were also afraid of moving around and became sedentary. That, ironically, just worsens the pain and makes it harder to get the exercise that's needed to feel better.

Studies have found 31% and 33% of folks with chronic pain catastrophize about it. So, if you're stopped in your tracks by pain -- or by fear that it will strike -- it's time to dial down your worrying and step up your stepping.

Talk therapy can lead to walk therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps you change your thinking patterns, is the experts' first choice for helping people who contend with catastrophizing pain. Once you overcome your fear of physical activity, walk therapy can ease osteoarthritis pain significantly. The Arthritis Foundation also recommends aerobics (low impact), strength building and range-of-motion/flexibility and aquatic exercises. Check out these physical activity programs approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for people with arthritis:



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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