Pain Is As Individual As The Person Experiencing It
Pain means different things to different people, I have horsey girls who won’t come in to see me unless their legs are falling off, who strap things up, let the adrenaline kick in at the competition and just get on with it and so many of my clients, who think pain is just an unavoidable part of the ageing process and say “Oh it’s just my age” and I can hear this from people in their thirties! Others, some of whom have had to give up their hobby, lose money through not being able to work and miss out on family activities, have gone into deep depression as pain killers are popped like smarties and life seems to be passing them by.
Acute, short-lived pain following a traumatic injury, in many cases heals. The pain that becomes increasingly hard to live with and manage, is the pain that has persisted month after month and often year after year, particularly when the source often can’t be diagnosed.
Living with chronic pain is almost a disease in itself. It slowly and progressively eats away at you, your confidence, self- worth and independence. It can consume your life and thoughts, often alienating you from your friends and family even your workplace as people start to question are you just being a malingerer and you get tired of explaining yourself.
Living with pain is exhausting, lack of sleep, anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with pain, which in turn can lead to anger and frustration and problems with your relationships at home and with yourself. In fact, just like the Snickers advert, where you’re not yourself when you are hungry, I’ve seen clients I initially didn’t click with, in fact they were horrible, then a few sessions in, they blossom and turn into their true, lovely selves – living with headaches for decades, we would all be a little short and the relief is tangible in their whole persona – they literally walk in a different person, the person they always were before the constant, in the background, sapping your energy, pain …
And the physical pain can stop you from doing the simple things you love like walking the dog, playing sports and socialising, which also has an impact on your mental health.
It’s important that you are in control and are the driver of your pain management, it would be unrealistic to assume you can do this alone. You need the support of friends and family, work colleagues, pain specialists, therapists and other professionals.
Physical therapists are experts in handling pain, finding the source of the pain and treating your body holistically. Physical therapy can be very beneficial in managing chronic pain by promoting joint movement, using exercises to reduce stiffness and improve muscle strength – all of which can reduce your pain and improve your mobility which may help with daily activities. Low Level Laser Therapy and Scenar Therapy can help kick start your body’s healing processes and reduce sensitivity to pain and massage has always been a trusty stalwart as it reduces stress and anxiety as well as pain.
This month we’ve put together a range of resources that can help you learn to manage this pain, whatever pain level you’re at.
We have leaflets on the following topics:
- The Strain of Pain:Dispelling the myths behind chronic pain with strategies for managing your pain
- Understanding Chronic Pain
- Skills to Cope with Chronic Pain
- How Physical Therapy Can Help You if You Suffer from Chronic Pain
- How Pain Affects Your Life(infographic)
- Relaxation for Chronic Pain(exercise handout)
- Building Activity into Your Everyday Life If You Suffer from Musculoskeletal Pain
- Chronic Pain: Tips for Managing Activity Levels
These resources are packed with practical tips and advice, along with worksheets, exercise leaflets and infographics that combine to help you master your chronic pain.
You can download the resources here Chronic Pain Leaflets
If you’re living with pain on a regular basis, there are many ways we can help so if you need advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you know anyone who could benefit from any of these resources, please feel free to share this blog post with them.
Until next month, when we take a deep dive into swimming and it’s associated issues
To your good health