Fellow pain sufferers, as well as anyone who likes to learn about the body, I can’t stress enough how learning about the human body has helped me.
First of all, it makes such a big difference when you can begin to understand basic medical terminology.
It doesn’t take that much to learn these terms, and once you do you’ll find you can actually hold your medical records in your hands and understand about 50% more than what you previously would have been able to. I’m not saying you have to be your own doctor, but at least for me, understanding these words greatly contributed to my own sense of confidence. Also, a little background knowledge can make little boring things like having a cold slightly more interesting. You can think to yourself, “oh, the white blood cells are doing this…” etc. etc.
Secondly, a basic background in anatomy will help protect you from falling prey to healthcare scams and misinformation. Anyone who’s suffered from chronic illness knows how desperate we can get at times for answers, and this is where a lot of enterprising people try to swoop in and sell you supplements, health counseling, and God knows what else.
In addition, I have found a huge amount of value in developing an understanding of the part of my body that hurts. Pain is basically your body’s alarm system, and it’s there to keep you from doing things that your body thinks is dangerous. Of course this is a totally unconscious process. But I have found that when I can learn more about a part of the body that’s hurting me, and get to a point where I feel I have an accurate and precise mental model of that area, my pain level actually starts to decrease. Nobody likes uncertainty, and the more you can develop a sense of certainty about what’s going on, the better you are likely to feel.
Lastly, a basic knowledge of anatomy will help you to protect yourself from future injury because you will start to know a little bit more about how the body is supposed to work, and you will be less likely to perform your exercises with bad form
For more on how learning about the body has helped me, check out