The Physiotherapy Management of Persistent or Chronic Pain
If you have had pain for longer than 3-4 months it can be described as ‘Persistent’ or ‘Chronic Pain’. What this means is long after the injury should have started to settle the pain remains. A bit like the warning signs/fire alarms to the brain that there is potential harm (the initial injury or over/under load of tissues) have not turned down when they should.
There are a number of reasons this can occur. Research has started to show that some people have a genetic disposition (that they are born with a risk of it) to persistent pain, sometimes its that the central nervous system has been sensitised by pain over a long period of time and understands this state as ‘normal’. The other things that can create the risk of this occurring is chronic stress, anxiety and depression. There becomes a state of decreased activity and exercise/movement through fear that it is going to make the pain worse – which in turn increases it’s sensitivity. This is a downward spiral and is important that this is not continued as the longer it remains the harder it is to recover…..but recovery is possible with commitment and support.
This Video produced by the Physiotherapist and researcher Lorimer Mosely is an excellent explanation and visual aid to help you understand how this occurs and what can be done about it with rehabilitation. An excellent resource it that of Mike Stewart, a Chartered Physiotherapist, who has produced this booklet for patients.
If you have persistent or chronic pain then do get in touch, book an appointment and speak to Jane about rehabilitation to get you back on track and enjoying your daily life again!