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Chronic Pain

Posted by: Terry On February 17, 2015 at 9:06 am
Chronic pain is the persistent pain over a prolonged period involving complex sensation over the body and soul. Evidence suggests chronic pain sufferers will have pain for a long time, possibly for life.

People with chronic pain usually got themselves into the chronic pain cycle:

Distress prolonged pain -> Stress -> Poor sleeping -> Low mood -> Decreased ability to cope -> Functional limitations -> Back to Distress prolonged pain again and so on.

Many chronic pain sufferers said they do as much as they can on a “good day” and then suffer over the following days. They may attribute muscle aching and stiffness that are normal after unaccustomed exercise as further injury and damage. Over time, activity periods become shorten and rests become lengthen. Disability increases. Fear of activity and resultant pain also increases. Eventually, this leads to lost of confidence, physical instability, increased muscle tension and hypersensitivity.

Physiotherapy helps alleviate pain by various modalities. However, this is not the sole mean of pain relief especially in chronic pain sufferers. A more holistic perspective must be considered. The aim is to reduce disability caused by chronic pain by teaching sufferers physical, Back pain Brisbane, Physiotherapy Brisbane, Physiotherapist Brisbane, Physiotherapists Brisbane, Massage Brisbane, psychological and practical techniques to improve their quality of life. Pain relief is not the main aim of management, but the focus is on functional improvements. Physiotherapists implement a holistic management program utilizing the elements of the biopsychosocial model. In this model, pain has sensory, affective and cognitive dimensions. Biological, social and psychological factors contribute to produce pain experience and persistence.

In terms of pain management, there are a few key ideas. It is important for chronic pain sufferers to understand the difference between acute and chronic pain which helps them to accept long term implications. People with chronic pain need to decrease avoidance, pain and illness behaviours. Active problem solving needs to be utilized to develop ways of responding to pain, emotion and environment. They need to develop self recognition and monitoring in order to come up with coping strategies which can decrease anxiety/depression and increase self confidence. It is also important to set and pursue realistic goals, such as work and self-care. Weaning off medications, such as analgesia and antidepressants, and dependence on the health care system is encouraged. Replace them with relaxation and coping strategies would be better. Improving general fitness, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular endurance is also an important part of chronic pain management.

Exercise should have two major components. First component is stretching to increase soft tissue length and joint mobility. Second component is aerobic conditioning to increase fitness. Weight resisted exercises should be introduced very slowly, because it is likely to increase in pain. Exercise should be paced. Moderate activity and rest cycles enable control of exacerbations in pain by learning to regulate activity. Once regime is established and then gradually increases activity level.

Recognising and preparing for situations that might predispose to relapse is critical. Chronic pain sufferers need to be able to differentiate new pain from chronic pain. They need to also understand that increase in pain is not necessarily worsening of condition. Relapse is not failure or inability to manage. Once it is settled and then returns to activity.

Talk to your physiotherapist regarding treatment plan and advices on long term management if you are suffering from chronic pain. Early intervention will lead to earlier return to better quality of life.

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