All About Pain
Some Interesting Facts About Pain?
Pain does equate to tissue damage
- This means that the amount of pain you feel does not always relate to the level of the injury. You can also feel pain without having caused damage to your tissues and you can also cause damage to you tissues and not feel pain.
Poor posture does not equate to pain
- There is no evidence to say that people who sit in a slouched position will end up with back pain. There is also no evidence to say that sitting with your legs crossed will lead to pain. There is not a lot of stress placed on your body when you sit in these positions so there is nothing to be fearful of. If you sit all day with a rounded back you will be stiff, but that is from sitting all day, no matter what way you sit. The best posture is one that varies its position and changes every 30 minutes or so.
MRI’s will not always give you the answer to your pain
- MRI’s will tell you what is going on with your tissues, but as we know from the first point, pain does not equate to tissue damage. This means that an MRI of a back, for example, will show up disc degeneration or loss of disc height, but there a number of other things that can be causing your back pain. Often people who never have back pain can show up with disc degeneration on a MRI scan
So what can be causing this pain?
Look at the picture of the cup to see some of the factors that could be having an influence on your pain.
All of these factors have the effect of sensitizing your body and causing adrenaline and other chemicals to be present.
These can have the effect of turning a very minor injury, like a slight muscle strain, into a painful injury that can potentially turn into a long term one, if some of the ingredients in the cup are present.
Tissue heals within a fairly standard healing time.
With long term pain, there are other factors going on that sensitize the body, leading to more pain, which can cause more fear and worry and turn into a tricky pain cycle, if not addressed in time
So what about my torn hamstring?
Of course damage to muscle, ligaments, skin or any of the different types of tissue will cause pain.
This is called nocioceptive pain.
Once damage to a part of the body has occurred a message will get sent to the spinal cord and on to the brain. Here the brain makes a decision as to whether is should be painful or not and how much pain the injury warrants.
It makes this decision from looking at the situation, assessing where it is, who your with, have you injured it before, is it important to get up and keep moving or do you need to stay where you are and protect it. All of these factors influence the conscious experience of pain that you feel.
Sometimes the pain is necessary to protect you, other times your brain may over react and the initial severe pain may settle down within seconds, when your brain has more time to assess the situation.
The key message to remember here is that although the pain you feel is very real, it is determined and influenced by a number of things and not just the level of injury to the tissue.
So what can Midlands Physical Therapy do to help a long term pain sufferer?
Quite a bit.
Anybody who has suffered with pain for a long time can get real benefit from sitting down with a physical therapist and discussing their pain, how its impacting their lifestyle and what they would like to achieve if their pain was reduced or taken away.
I look at what triggers and sets your pain off. How come some days, the pain is ok and then on other days, the pain might be awful.
There are things you do that might be prolonging or making the pain worse.
These can be movement habits, lack of movement, fear of movement, what you’ve heard or been told, the amount of sleep your getting, your emotions, anxiety, depression, your diet or your outlook on life, the amount of stress at work or at home.
All of these can be changeable or modifiable and all can have an influence on the pain that is experienced.
I come up with a plan to help you get back on the right track to more movement with less pain. The more times you experience less pain the better, and the pain cycle can be interupted and broken.
Have you heard about my Free Discovery Sessions
What’s a Discovery Session
A discovery session is a 30 minute session for people who may be skeptical, nervous or unsure if Physical Therapy is the right form of treatment for them.
They may have tried different therapist before and had no success.
They may have never been for treatment before and are nervous of going.
Or they might just not know why they are in pain, what their pain means and want to start somewhere, to get some advice and information on what is the best course of action.
If you fall into any of the categories above, then a discovery session would be perfect for you.
It’s a FREE 30 minute session, where I will talk about your problem, do an assessment and let you know what is the best course of action for you.