Explaining Chronic Pain

9 Jul, 2018

Chronic/Persistent Pain

Persistent pain can become debilitating and affect one’s wellbeing. Almost everyone experiences pain at some stage in their life. It’s often caused by an injury such as a sprain, strain, cut, sting, bite or burn, and usually resolves within weeks to months. This type of pain is called acute pain and is actually very important and necessary for preventing further injury and/or allowing our body to rest and heal.

However, some people experience pain that lasts longer than 3-6 months and often has no clear cause or purpose. It is a very individualised experience, in that symptoms may be different between persistent pain sufferers, and as such can be very complex to understand and manage.

It can be mild to severe, and may be described as:

  • Throbbing
  • Burning
  • Shooting
  • Stinging
  • Achey
  • Stiffness
  • Pressure

Other symptoms or experiences that may come hand in hand with pain can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Appetite changes
  • Social withdrawal

Some persistent pain suffers have reported environmental factors such as the weather or stress levels as having an impact on their pain. Pain can interfere with your life and may make you feel frustrated, sad, angry and/or anxious. A common misconception about pain is that it is only present when there is damage to the body. This is usually the case with acute pain, however the presence of persistent pain does not correlate with damage or injury, as most tissues in the body completely heal within 3 months. Fear avoidance, or avoiding activities in fear they will bring on or aggravate your pain, is a common behaviour displayed in those with persistent pain as it is a natural response to acute pain. However, in those with persistent pain, this can exacerbate the pain.

Many allied health professionals have extensive knowledge about persistent pain such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists and psychologists. Often, a combination of input from these people is the most effective way to find what works for you. Treatments target the nervous system involving the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system.

Strategies we can offer:

  • Education
  • Physical activity prescription
  • Medication prescription/review
  • Mindfulness
  • Goal setting
  • Pacing
  • Massage

What to do now?

If you, friend or family member is suffering give us a call at Gen Physio & Allied Health, we have a friendly team of professionals that are dedicated to changing the lives of our clients. All of our clinicians are mobile and come to your own home to conduct an examination. Give us a call on 1300 122 884 or Contact Us to book a consultation today.

For more information, please consult with an allied health or medical professional, as there is help and resources out there to support you through your journey.

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