Episode 6: The Difference Between Pain and Injury (with Dr. Jonathan Fass)

Side by side headshots of Marianne Kane and Jonathan Fass to show the interview nature of the post

Did you know that your mental and environmental issues can significantly affect your physical pain? We often don’t think of how the fear of moving our backs or knees in a certain way can cause or play into the very thing we’re trying to avoid.

In this episode, I chat with my husband Dr. Jonathan Fass, a doctor of physical therapy, board-certified in orthopedics, and has recently completed his fellowship in orthopedics in manual physical therapy.

He talks about the difference between pain and injury, plus what causes pain. And we discuss what pain means and how to respond to it.


Listen in to learn the importance of moving your body in individualized motions that feel good for you, even if they don’t fulfill everyone’s ideals. You will also learn about pain and why nonspecific pain isn’t always a threat.

Once again, I've made this available in 3 different formats:

- Video (captions ready)

- Audio Podcast

- And full transcript

Some timestamps are provided below.

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What you'll learn:


  • [1:38] Jonathan describes injury as tissue damage and pain as a signal of threat, and the difference between the two.
  • [5:05] Understanding the origin of pain and how it acts as information to the system.
  • [8:17] How to figure out knee pain during exercise which will help you understand its seriousness.
  • [11:05] How to do a perfect squat and movements that feel better for your body.
  • [15:58] Why exercising should be based on individual goals and not necessarily on ideas of what you should or shouldn’t do.
  • [20:04] Understanding the biopsychosocial model of pain- how your physical, psychological, and social aspects affect your pain perception.
  • [26:47] Differentiating between the nonspecific back pain and when pain is caused by injuries.
  • [35:30] How to allow people to explore their body movements and move differently in what feels good to them as a trainer.
  • [39:58] The importance of incorporating adaptive movement variations when you understand the things your body can or cannot do.
  • [43:42] How your psychological and environmental threats can cause you significant physical pain.
  • [52:37] Jonathan advises you to find movements that make you feel good and stay healthy, rather than to “avoid harm”.

I hope you enjoyed our discussion. Please share your thoughts (and share this post) before you leave 🙂

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  • January 17, 2021

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