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At Body Logic Physiotherapy, we treat many kinds of pain problems. This includes common conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, nerve pain (e.g. sciatica), arthritis, muscle pain, tendon pain, bursitis, widespread pain and more (see conditions).
Pain associated with our muscles, tendons, joints, discs, bursa and nerves can be really unpleasant and distressing. This can have a major impact on our physical and emotional well-being. Pain can be very scary when we don’t understand it and / or can’t control or predict it. It can result in uncontrolled muscle tension in the body. It can also stop us from doing the things that we value as well as things that keep us healthy. Common examples of this include: good sleep, normal movement, regular physical activity, sexual activity, social engagement, work, play and activities of daily living etc.
Sometimes pain can arise from an injury (nociceptive and / or inflammatory pain), but many times it doesn’t (nociplastic pain). Sometimes pain persists well beyond healing time, or becomes recurrent, and for some people pain is a daily part of their life that they try to manage.
First, we will ask you to fill in a short questionnaire to ask you about all aspects of your pain experience. Our job is to take a careful history and examine you to determine a number of things:
Our next role is to explain to you in simple language regarding what’s going on in your body. In some situations, pain in not complex and is linked to a simple sprain or strain which can be easily and quickly managed and we can set you up with a plan to prevent it recurring. However, if pain is distressing, disabling and / or long lasting, it is usually more complex and most often it is related to a number of interacting factors. A good example of this is pain and functional limitation associated with osteoarthritis. While it often involves changes and inflammation to the joint’s structures, it is also influenced by a person’s muscle strength, confidence in using their joint, mobility and functional capacity, lifestyle factors such as sleep, activity levels, body weight as well as things such as stress and mental health. The same is the case for other chronic pain conditions such as back and neck pain etc. Understanding the unique factors that are related to your problem is really important to provide the best care to address your whole health. Often simple things make a BIG difference.
If pain is linked to muscle spasm/tension and movement is limited, sometimes ‘hands-on’ approaches such as massage, joint mobilisation, manipulation and needling can help to relieve your pain in order to restore function. These effects are often short-lasting, which means we will always give you exercises and strategies for you to do to maintain/mimic the gains made with “hands-on” treatment, relieve your pain and restore your functional capacity as fast as possible.
When pain is linked to stress, tension and / or very sensitive structures, it may be important to first teach you to relax your body before you engage in movement and activity. We do this through relaxed postures and breathing techniques. These can be very effective to relieve pain and create a sense of calm before engaging in movement.
Graduated movement of pain sensitive structures is important for their health. Exercise has been shown to relieve pain and increase function in all muscle, joint, spine and nerve pain conditions (both acute or chronic). We will graduate your exercises so they are safe and tolerable for you. We will also make them simple and relevant to your condition. Sometimes moving and exercising can be scary and unpleasant, and we will take some time to build your confidence, strength and functional capacity to get back to living again. Exercise is like a drug – getting the right dose for the right person is important. Sometimes it takes a while before the benefits become apparent so we will encourage you to hang in there while we support you through this process. We will always give you a few exercises you can do at home, and in some cases it can be really helpful to do supervised exercise in our rehabilitation studio. This enables us to work closely with you and determine the right dose of exercise for you. We offer one-on-one and group classes to support our clients. (see exercise rehabilitation)
Persistent pain can often be associated with habits we develop within our body (that often we aren’t aware of) such as: breath holding or rapid shallow breathing, tension, guarded movement and avoidance of certain movements or activities. These habits can become very unhelpful and are important to break. We will coach you on simple ways of breaking these habits. A common example of this is with back pain, which commonly results in tension in the back and belly muscles, stiff and guarded movement and avoidance of movements such as bending, lifting and twisting. Breaking these habits reduces tension and stress on the back and allows for healthier movement and loading patterns.
Sleep disruption is very common in pain problems and can be addressed in a variety of ways. This may be with developing healthy sleep habits, engaging in physical activity, relaxation techniques, learning how to move easily in bed etc.
Physical activity is one of the most important things for a person’s health. This has been shown to reduce pain and the risk for pain recurrence and chronicity. It also helps with sleep, mood, anxiety and energy levels. We are interested in building your confidence to get you back to the physical activity that you enjoy and that you will persist with. This may take some time and coaching. Do you know what the recommended amount of physical activity is for adults?
Work is really important for people although sometimes pain can become a major barrier for work. We will explore all the barriers that prevent you from working and develop a plan to address them.
Stress management is also very important for pain management. There is strong evidence for the role of chronic stress can have on pain. Developing strategies to manage stress can be very important. These can include engaging in regular physical activity, relaxation / meditation techniques, social engagement and good sleep habits. These factors can reduce the impact that stress has on our body.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for the health of our spine, joints and tendons. Carrying extra weight around our belly leads to increased inflammation in our body that can affect our bodies structures such as discs, joints, muscles and tendons, and make them more sensitive. Reducing this weight has been shown to reduce pain associated with chronic pain conditions.
For simple sprains and strains we usually only need a short consultation with you (30 minutes). We will examine and treat you and set you up with a plan to self-manage your condition.
For others with more complex, disabling or long-standing problems this journey may take up to 3-4 months. We strongly recommend 60 minutes for the initial appointment. Our approach is to put you in the drivers seat, and this may take 4-10 sessions over this period of time. It takes time to build confidence and trust in the body and reduce sensitivity in our body’s structures when they have built up over time. At Body Logic Physiotherapy we have a number of specialist, post-graduate and senior physiotherapists who can take you on this journey.
We know that the best way to manage pain is to understand its complexity, develop strategies to control it, and learn ways to get back to the things in life we enjoy.
For more information on pain management and to get in touch with our pain management clinic, contact us today!
Our people and our thinking is what sets us apart. We are researchers, lecturers, students and coaches. When you work with Body Logic Physiotherapy, you get access to a whole lot more.
We work with many people, regardless of where they are in their journey.
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