Chronic and Persistent Pain

Chronic or persistant pain can be debilitating – Andrea one of our expert Physiothearpists shares some information on this condition…

When someone is asked to think about pain, they imagine a wound or a limb bent at an unnatural angle. However chronic pain known as persistent pain is a different beast altogether.

It is common to link the intensity and location of pain to the extent of damage we can see, for instance a little cut when chopping vegetables is different from being stabbed with a knife over the tummy.

Our bodies, specifically the nervous system can modulate and process sensation in different ways depending on circumstances. Believe it or not pain can be present even after a wound is healed. Pain can become widespread and uncoupled with the extent of damage in your back, neck or shoulder and other body areas. An example of this is phantom limb pain, migraine or those elderly people who are functional and active despite joint degeneration.

Very often young adults get a scan or an MRI for the back and it comes back clear.

So, why do I have pain then? Is that in my mind? Am I crazy?

The answer is “no, you are not”!

Persistent pain is very complex and multifaceted.

Factors that shape pain include, but are not limited to:

  • Lifestyle including sleeping pattern,
  • Mood,
  • Stress, anxiety and beliefs.

It happens that normal activities such as lying in bed, sitting for long, walking or driving can become very painful with no apparent reasons, thus leading to frustration and avoidance of activities.

Fear of re-injury is normal and adaptive, it saves us from grabbing that hot pan again. Yet, this protective mechanism has sometimes some faults. It becomes overprotective, like a sensitive intruder alarm. It stops us doing the activities we love as we are afraid that if we feel more pain we have doane more damage. The result is that the body becomes deconditioned and we enter a vicious cycle.

To settle our symptoms we rely on medications, rest and doctors and we can get a bit depressed as we no longer can play with kids or walk the dog.

It is not an easy task to rid ourselves of the  persistent pain is not an easy task, there is no overnight cure or a quick fix.

However, physios can help you to make more sense of pain, to understand when pain is useful and when it is unreliable and inaccurate, in other words overprotective, and can help you to have a leading role on your own life.

Sometimes, changing your lifestyle, pacing your activities with right amount of rest, simple but regular exercise and movements of your body can make a big difference and help you to live a meaningful life despite the pain.

If you are suffering with chronic pain and would like some help why not book in with Andrea on 01189 462299.