What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is a term that relates to a pain problem that persists beyond 3 months. In some cases, this pain may arise from an injury such as a joint sprain or fracture but persists beyond natural healing time (8 weeks). In many other cases, pain may emerge at a time of stress, emotional distress, lack of sleep and fatigue causing sensitisation of the nervous system. Common examples of chronic pain are back pain, pelvic pain, neck pain, headaches, knee pain, hip pain, tendon pain and widespread pain or ‘fibromyalgia’. Chronic pain can be very distressing, exhausting and disrupt many aspects of a person’s life.
Risk factors for chronic pain:
Sustained stress, negative mindset towards the pain, poor sleep, fear of pain, depressed mood, activity and movement avoidance. Together these factors over time can result in changes in the nervous system resulting in the persistence of pain.
Treatment of chronic pain:
It’s very important to understand that the pain associated with chronic pain usually does not relate to any tissue damage. Therefore, directly treating and protecting the specific tissues provides no long-term benefits and may be unhelpful.
Our physiotherapists at Body Logic Physiotherapy play a very important role in the treatment of chronic pain, including identifying the key factors linked to your symptoms, coaching in body relaxation, breathing techniques, relaxed fearless movement, graded activity and sleep rehabilitation. A long-term plan is the key to controlling this problem and it may take up to 3-6 months to make this plan work. We also work with your doctor and/or a clinical psychologist if additional care is needed.