The famous nursery rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”, is completely inaccurate as WORDS CAN AND DO HURT! Here are my top 10 most awful words told to many patients …though it is often with the best of intentions.

10) No pain, no gain – you just have to push through the pain

Ignoring pain can worsen the pain experience. See my 3-min. video

9) You need to avoid any activity or movement that causes you pain

For most conditions, not only is “comfortable pain” okay, it is in fact necessary for recovery. See my video.

 8) It’s just old age; wear & tear!

It is such a disheartening and false thing to be told and to believe. See my 1-min. video.

 7) You need to lose weight

Please view my intro video to “Dismantling Body Shaming & the Weight-loss Culture”

6) Your C5-6 flexion and L5-S1 right rotation are restricted and need to be fixed

When is this PIVM & PAM non-sense going to end? See my 2- min. video on the topic.


5) Your core is weak

Seriously, can we stop telling people that? Here’s my talk on it.

 4) Your spine needs to be kept in neutral

It is absurd to promote “neutral” postures. See my 3-min. video rant on pillows.

 3) Your posture is bad

These words can lead to a sense of fragility which is a predictor of prolong disability. See my 3-min. video.

 2) Your muscle x is tight, which is causing your pain

There are so many stretching myths out there. See my 2-min. video.


And the number #1 hurtful words spoken to patients…


1) You need to avoid exercise/activity/movement XYZ (when it’s irrelevant)

Although in the acute stages we certainly need to advise patients on TEMPORARILY avoiding certain movements, sadly this fear often endures as the beliefs become permanent. See my 3-min. video

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