No Pain, No Gain—Reimagined by Boston’s Premier Physical Therapy Experts

Reimagined by Boston's Premier Physical Therapy Experts


Pain is often perceived as an adversary, something to be avoided at all costs. Yet, at Sustain Physical Therapy, a leading clinic in Boston for sports physical therapy and performance training, we advocate for a nuanced understanding of pain. It’s not the enemy; rather, it’s a critical guide that informs our approach to Physical Therapy and injury rehab.

The Essential Role of Pain in Survival:

Consider a world devoid of pain: unnoticed injuries could lead to severe complications. Pain serves as an essential indicator, prompting us to react to potential harm. This fundamental aspect of sensation, honed over millions of years of evolution, is vital for our survival. Despite societal efforts to eliminate pain, it’s crucial to recognize its value as a resource and guide. Our clinic, specializing in Physical Therapy in Boston, encourages a deeper appreciation of pain’s role in maintaining health and preventing injury.

Therapeutic Perspectives on Pain:

When clients seek out our Physical Therapy services in Boston, pain is often a primary concern. However, simply addressing pain through passive treatments does not tackle the root causes, typically related to lifestyle and movement habits. At Sustain Physical Therapy, we diverge from temporary fixes, focusing instead on holistic strategies that confront the underlying issues, promoting lasting health and avoiding recurring visits.

Pain as a Guide in Physical Therapy:

Pain as a Guide in Physical Therapy:

Embracing pain as an informative and necessary part of the healing process is key. It directs our Physical Therapy interventions, guiding us towards addressing not just the symptoms but the lifestyle factors contributing to discomfort. This perspective shift—viewing pain as an ally in identifying and rectifying detrimental habits—is central to our approach at Sustain Physical Therapy, especially pertinent for clients dealing with tendinopathy, sports injuries, and seeking effective performance training.

Learning to understand or Reframe Pain:

Learning how to deal with pain, especially chronic pain, has been shown to offer significant benefits to one’s health. One notable study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and now associated with Weill Cornell Medical College and Dartmouth College, explored an innovative approach known as Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT). This therapy aims to help patients perceive pain signals sent to the brain as less threatening, encouraging them to “unlearn” chronic pain that persists without any physical injury or after the injury has healed. The study involved 151 participants with mild to moderate chronic back pain for which no physical cause could be identified. They were divided into three groups: one received intensive PRT, another a placebo injection, and the third continued with their usual care. Remarkably, after four weeks, 66% of the participants who underwent PRT reported being pain-free or nearly pain-free, a significant improvement compared to those who received placebo injections or continued usual care. Moreover, these benefits were largely maintained a year later, with fMRI scans showing substantial reductions in brain activity associated with pain processing in the PRT group​ (National Institutes of Health (NIH))​.

This research underscores the profound impact that psychological and brain-based approaches can have on managing chronic pain, highlighting the potential for treatments that focus on the mind’s ability to influence pain perception. It also calls for further studies to validate these findings across more diverse populations and other types of chronic pain.

Such studies offer a compelling insight into the benefits of learning to deal with pain, suggesting that interventions targeting the brain’s perception and processing of pain can lead to significant health improvements and quality of life for individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions.


Pain, when understood and utilized correctly, can be a powerful tool in Physical Therapy and injury rehab. It signifies not just the presence of an issue but also points towards solutions that foster stronger, more resilient bodies. At Sustain Physical Therapy in Boston, we’re dedicated to transforming how pain is perceived and treated, ensuring our clients achieve not only relief but also a comprehensive enhancement of their physical well-being.

If you’re ready to change how you perceive and manage pain, and if you’re seeking expert Physical Therapy in Boston, particularly for sports injuries, tendinopathy, or performance training, reach out to Sustain Physical Therapy. Let us guide you towards a healthier, more active life, leveraging pain for positive gains.

a man in a green shirt smiling in front of a gym.

Dr. Adam Babcock PT, DPT

Sustained Fitness and PT

"We Help Active Adults Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active, Get Back To What They Love To Do, and Do It For Decades"