In the physio world, we talk about different types of pain. There’s acute pain, which comes on suddenly (usually because of something specific, like an injury) and will go away again after your body heals. Then there is chronic or persistent pain, which is ongoing pain that continues long after any injury or illness that caused it has healed.
Persistent pain can be physically and mentally draining. And it’s not always indicative of a deeper problem that can be easily repaired. Persistent pain isn’t a reliable indicator of damage. The level of pain you feel doesn’t necessarily correlate with the amount of damage or change in your body’s tissues.
What is pain?
The actual physical sensation of pain is really interesting. Pain is both a physical and emotional response. It’s a way of alerting your body that you’re in danger. There are many personal factors that impact how we feel pain, and different people feel pain in different ways depending on their own circumstances.
We don’t consciously produce pain, but our conscious decisions and thoughts can actually increase or decrease our sensitivity to pain. Sometimes the brain associates pain with movement, which means it can can hurt to move even when the injured tissue has fully healed!
Why do I get persistent pain?
Persistent pain involves increased sensitivity of the nervous system, and an increased perception of pain.
As we’ve already said, your pain levels are influenced by many factors including your emotions, your beliefs about pain and your environment. This is why we take a holistic approach to managing and reducing pain effectively in the long term.
Managing persistent pain
When you’re tired, stressed, anxious or depressed, your body releases “unhappy” chemicals that influence the sensitivity of your nervous system and increase your perception of pain.
When you exercise, work towards your personal goals and learn to think more positively about pain, your body releases “happy” chemicals. These chemicals reduce the sensitivity of the nervous system, and help reduce your pain over time.
As well as manipulation and massage to help heal the sources of pain, our physiotherapists at The Corrective Clinic will put together a program to help you get more of these happy chemicals. We understand pain on a deep level, and we can pull together stretching, exercise, healthy eating, rehabilitation, and energising techniques to help you regain control over your pain and restore your confidence to live a healthy and pain-free life.
If you want to regain control over your persistent pain, book your appointment at The Corrective Clinic today!