Case Study

Reducing the Pain of Exercise 2

In Collaboration With:

Eli Lilly makes medications that help people live longer, healthier and more active lives.


The fear of side effects is one of many reasons that people fail to take their medication as prescribed. What can individuals do to suffer less from side effects, and be more adherent to their medication regimen?


We conducted a study aimed at helping people reframe the pain and discomfort of weight lifting exercises. Our goal in the future is to apply this to dealing with the side effects of medication.


By framing pain as either an increased risk of injury or an indication of improvement, we changed people’s perceptions of pain. People still recognized that the challenging weight lifting task created a sensation of pain, but they found this pain to be less unpleasant when reminded about the related benefits. In the context of medication, we plan to help patients think of the long-term benefits of their medication rather than its short-term side effects.

Value for Sponsor

Eli Lilly was able to see how reframing could potentially make the side effects of medication feel less painful.