Pain is something we all feel from time to time. Your nervous system recognises an injury as pain, which in turn triggers the body’s healing mechanism. If it hurts, you are likely to try and avoid using the injured part so healing can take place undisturbed. This type of pain can be beneficial in the short term.
Sometimes pain continues for longer than necessary
Pain can sometimes continue even after tissue healing has finished. This type of pain is not beneficial for healing. Persistent or chronic pain is a result of your nervous system becoming over-sensitised. A painful response will be triggered much more easily than normal. This can feel unpleasant when you move, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing yourself any harm. This pain response is a bit like a sensitive car alarm that goes off in error when someone walks past (for more information on how pain works, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUrKgv43W2c ).
You are not alone
Persistent pain is very common and effects over 14 million people in the UK alone. It needs a different kind of approach.
Getting you active again
With the support of your osteopath there are many things that you can do to manage your pain yourself. If you keep active, exercises and stretch this can help. Learning to pace your activities so that you don’t trigger a flare-up of your pain. Setting goals and priorities are all very important and can help you to maintain a fulfilling lifestyle.
If you have persistent pain seeing an osteopath can be reassuring. They can motivate you to start being more active and less fearful of moving your body. We often help people overcome acute as well as persistent pain using mindfulness techniques at Butterfield Osteopathy.
Pain does not mean harm in chronic pain
It just means you have become more sensitive to pain, particularly when you are tired or stressed.
If you want more information on how to manage your persistent pain, speak to your osteopath or visit http://www.paintoolkit.org/