Causes of Pain: How New Use, Misuse, Overuse, Disuse, and Abuse Affect Our Bodies

Causes of Pain: Understanding Pain:

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you experience pain? Often, it’s the perception that there is some damage in your body, but is this always true?
The surprising answer is no.

In fact, pain isn’t a direct measure of damage but rather a complex signal indicating perceived danger.

In this post, I will explore how various factors can influence this perception:

  • new use
  • misuse,
  • overuse,
  • disuse
  • abuse of our bodies.

Understanding these causes can offer us valuable insights into the intricate and fascinating world of pain perception.

New Use

To begin with, let’s explore the concept of “new use”. When we take up a new activity, sport, or hobby, our body has to adapt to different movement patterns and strains.

A beginner in yoga, for instance, might experience discomfort or even mild pain as their body navigates unfamiliar poses. This doesn’t necessarily imply injury. Instead, this pain is your body’s way of raising the red flag, cautioning you about a novel activity. It’s the nervous system’s equivalent of saying, “Hey, this is new! Let’s be careful until we figure out what’s happening.”

I will often treat and advise people in this situation. Usually, it’s not a case of “too much, too soon”, but instead, not giving sufficient rest or recovery to allow the body to settle down and catch on that it can do it what’s wanted.


Misuse sneaks up on you, slowly building up over time due to poor body awareness and posture. Think about how you’re sitting right now. Is your back straight, or are you slouching? Regularly assuming such unhealthy postures can lead to discomfort or pain in various body parts. It’s like your body’s alarm system detecting a potential threat from these abnormal positions and constantly reminding you. This isn’t an indicator of damage per se but rather a signal to correct your posture and realign your body properly or better still, Move More.

However, identifying and rectifying misuse on your own can be challenging. Reach out today for a comprehensive posture assessment and guidance on maintaining proper body alignment.


Overuse is another critical factor contributing to pain, predominantly due to repetitive strain.
Let’s take the case of a computer user whose monitor is off to one side, forcing them to work with a slight twist. Or consider a golfer who always swings the club from one side, causing repetitive strain on muscles.

The persistent, monotonous movements can lead to overuse pain. Our body might say, “You’re working me too hard in the same way. Give me a break!” Like the new use scenario, this is also an under-rested or not recovered.

A session with me can provide you with personalized strategies to prevent overuse and manage your tasks better. Schedule an appointment now.


The next category, “abuse,” might sound a little harsh, but it encapsulates those moments when we knowingly push our bodies beyond their comfort zone. Lifting or moving objects that are far too heavy, for instance. Here, pain acts as a bodyguard, warning you that the task you’re undertaking might put you in danger. This isn’t the body crying wolf; it’s a sincere plea to reconsider your actions and respect your body’s limits.

Finally, “disuse” pertains to the pain we experience when returning to an activity or movement pattern we haven’t performed for a while.
You’ve taken a break from your daily jogging routine and decided to pick it up again after several months. Or maybe you’re trying to reach the top shelf that hasn’t been touched since last spring.

When your body’s strength or flexibility has diminished due to disuse, the resulting pain is a protective response, encouraging you to proceed with caution or work on regaining the lost capability.

Your body’s message might be: “Let’s proceed with caution or work on regaining the lost capability.” To regain your strength or flexibility effectively and safely, contact me for a comprehensive plan tailored to your needs.


The fascinating thing about pain is that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of signal. Its causes and interpretations can be as diverse as the activities we engage in daily. That twinge you feel when you lift a heavy box or the discomfort that arises from sitting at your desk for extended periods is your body’s personalized way of communicating perceived danger.

In a world where we’re often encouraged to “push through the pain,” it’s vital to understand that pain isn’t the enemy. Rather, it’s an ally, a sophisticated alert system evolved over thousands of years to help us navigate and interact with our environment safely.

It’s essential to listen to these signals and understand what they’re trying to say.
New use, misuse, overuse, disuse, and abuse are all different scenarios where your body uses pain to get your attention. They each tell a unique story about your body’s interaction with the world, a story where pain isn’t a villain but a protagonist that deserves our attention and understanding.

Remember, our bodies are wonderfully complex systems designed to keep us safe. When pain signals arise, it’s not necessarily a sign of damage but often a protective mechanism indicating perceived danger.

By understanding the causes and interpreting these signals accurately, we can better tune into our bodies, respecting their limits and ensuring we live healthily and comfortably.

In conclusion, pain, while often uncomfortable and inconvenient, is a critical part of our body’s defence mechanism. It’s a nuanced language we must learn to decipher. Whether it’s from starting a new sport (new use), poor posture (misuse), repetitive activities (overuse), lifting heavy objects (abuse), or returning to a once-familiar activity (disuse), the pain we experience is our body’s way of alerting us to potential threats and guiding us to make better choices.

So, the next time you feel pain, remember: it’s not a sign of defeat, but a message that deserves attention. Book an appointment today, and let’s start this conversation with your body.