29 Mar CHRONIC PAIN
Pain is an important reaction of the body’s nervous system that helps alert you to possible injury. When an injury occurs, pain signals travel from the injured area up through the spinal cord to the brain.
Pain can be classified as acute or chronic. Acute pain comes on suddenly and is caused by something specific. It is typically sharp in nature but as the injury heals, the pain will become less severe and eventually go away when there is no longer an underlying cause for the pain.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that is ongoing, lasting longer than three months or beyond the time of normal healing. This type of pain can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has completely healed as the pain signals remain active in the nervous system for several weeks, months or even years. The pain may be sharp or dull, causing a burning or aching sensation in the affected area(s). Pain may be steady or intermittent, coming and going without apparent reason. Chronic pain can occur in nearly any part of your body and can feel very different in each.
Chronic pain can affect people of all ages but is more common in female adults. Other factors that may increase one’s risk of developing chronic pain include injuring oneself, undergoing surgery, and being overweight or obese.
Chronic pain is commonly linked to the following conditions:
- Postsurgical pain
- Post-trauma pain
- Lower back pain
- Neurogenic pain (i.e. pain caused by nerve damage).
Chronic pain can limit your mobility and reduce your flexibility, strength, and endurance, making it challenging to get through your daily tasks and activities. The stress caused by the pain manifests produces other physical conditions such as tense muscles, lack of energy and a change in appetite.
Chronic pain also takes an emotional toll on patients, creating feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, and fear (of injury) which may limit your ability to work or participation in leisure activities.
How can Osteopathy help me?
Osteopaths are trained to explore and understand the root cause of chronic pain. Through in-depth questioning, your osteopath can help establish causation and gain a better understanding of your overall health to work towards restoring your body’s natural state of health.
The severity and frequency of the pain will differ from patient to patient so the time it takes to gain relief from treatment and overcome the pain will differ from one person to the next. The treatment and management of your chronic pain will therefore be individually tailored to your symptoms, lifestyle, and underlying health conditions.
Manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue release, stretching, joint articulation and joint manipulation are used.
In addition to hands-on treatment, at-home exercises and/or stretch programs will likely be prescribed to patients to continue progression outside the treatment room.
While there is no quick cure for chronic pain, the condition can be managed successfully. It is important to stick to your pain management plan to ease symptoms and relieve discomfort.
At Osteovision we have experienced practitioners who can help you manage your pain. All treatments are evidence based and individually tailored to your symptoms.