What Colour is Pain?

I banjaxed my back on Friday and am way out of my comfort zone, to say the very least. There was a time when my back was bad, bad, bad for years on end and I became quite an expert on every conceivable kind of therapy from the very orthodox to the wildly alternative.

In the middle of that period my mother quipped that the pain was such a constant companion that I’d miss it when it was gone. Of course, she knew that once it had gone that I would very quickly forget those nerve jangling efforts of trying to turn in bed and the wobbly walks measured in half paces with breath held braced for the next muscle spasm.

Of course, what I miss in the throes of this latest ‘episode’ is having Father arriving up to the house with ‘meals on wheels,’ carefully wrapped in Mother’s love and emphasis on eye appeal.

‘Eye appeal’ generally meant a sprig of fresh parsely or maybe an edible nasturtium.

One of the most important things that I learned back then about pain was the importance of leaning into it rather than fighting against it and one way that I tried to make friends with it was through colour.

I think I must have had a premonition about the back caving in on Thursday last when I was out in Mount Congreve because I got to wondering about ‘blues’ and low mood.

Anyway, here’s the colour of my soft-tissued pain as I’m perceiving it now:

Pom-Pom Pain!


Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

41 thoughts on “What Colour is Pain?”

  1. I am truly sorry that you are having back pain problems..I have had these and I feel for you. Muscle relaxants, cold, heat, pillow under the legs..laying straight ..something to rub on your back…different shoes…possible a cane if your having trouble walking..I hope that it disappears quickly..The color of the flower does seem to fit the pain elevation..think purple or blue something cool…

  2. At least the color of your pain is not black right now! Banjaxed? I suppose it means your back went out. May your pain diminish until it is only a memory! Glad you have two guys to take care of you…and a pup.

    1. Hi CC, ‘banjaxed’ is a commonly used word here in Ireland. It covers a multitude but basically means ‘messed up.’ It’s a very handy word indeed!

  3. Hoping you feel better soon, Jean! I have a lot of osteoarthritis and cervical neck spur problems (from all those years lifting my multi-handicapped students).
    They sell a neat, awesome little device called the Lumbar Extender or Multi-Level- Stretching Device that works well for a lot of back problems. You may want to check it out!

  4. Oh no. Back pain is such a difficult one to stay ahead of. I hope your colour will be vibrant yellow of sunflowers by the weekend.
    Beautiful photo though.

  5. Back pain is horrible. When my little pup Cheesy passed away weeks ago I also pulled something in my back. Heartbreak and back pain are two things that shouldn’t be combined. Hoping you get some relief quickly my friend. πŸ’œ

  6. Hello Jean sorry to see that you are having a bad time with your back. I am having quite a bit of pain in my hip and knee at night time and hadn’t thought about associating it with colour but it is certainly an interesting idea. Does it help ? your pompom colour does look quite soothing and of course it’s the colour of the spiritual chakra. I have heard of ‘colour therapy’ but am not quite sure how it works. Take care and keep writing .

    1. Hi Patricia, sorry for the delay in responding. ( I thought I had).
      The colour therapy helps me anyway but I don’t adopt any formal kind of approach.
      It might be worth a try for your hip etc. It certainly can’t do any harm unless you feel compelled to climb a mountain to get a good view of blue sea beneath!!

  7. Hope you’re back to feeling well again, Jean πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚
    If my husband’s brain was not so sensibly black & white,
    I’d ask him (since he’s dealt with enough pain for all of us)
    what colour he’d relate it to… πŸ™‚ β™₯ ❀

      1. Glad to hear you’re on the mend πŸ™‚ And yup… Although his body is laced with fractured/broken HPP bones, he’s the strongest guy I’ll ever know! πŸ™‚ 😦 :-/ β™₯ ❀

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