SHIFNAL CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC

Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

01952 460 947

Chronic Pain

23/05/2016

One of the most awful things to experience is having to live permanently in pain.  Everyone has experienced some level of pain, for some period of time, but imagine that going on and on until every waking hour (and even your sleep) is ruled by that pain.  You can’t get away from it, painkillers don’t help, and just living becomes a serious effort.

Why does this happen?  Well, of course, there are many different mechanisms for chronic pain to develop, and the intensity or severity of it likewise varies, but one common version I see in my practice is where a “normal” back pain continues on and on past the point where the original injury has resolved.  It sometimes even spreads around, for example it starts off just affecting one side of the low back, then spreads to the other side and then goes down the leg.  This isn’t the same as sciatica, but a more generalised pain.

What can occur is a form of over-sensitisation in the brain, where certain areas of the brain “remember” the pain that was there before and it almost forgets to stop sending pain signals.  The system literally carries on recognising an injury that is no longer there.

Another form of extended pain can occur when fear of moving in a certain way, such as bending forward, makes a person move differently and therefore actually injuring other tissues by using them in a way they are not accustomed to.  If this becomes severe enough, it can develop into “kinesiophobia” – literally, a phobia of moving.

So how can we treat chronic pain?  It is incredibly difficult to treat, and usually requires a multi-modal approach.  In other words, trying to treat it using just medication, just physiotherapy/chiropractic or just psychology won’t work; you have to use a combination of all these things and more to stand any chance of successfully treating chronic pain.

If you think you are suffering from chronic pain, talk about it with your GP or Chiropractor.  They will perform a full examination to work out the extent of any remaining injury and therefore where your individual treatment program will need to start.  Don’t be put off by thoughts of how long it might take, and certainly don’t take any suggestion of needing psychological help as an accusation that it’s “all in your head”.  As I mentioned before, there is sometimes a problem with the way your brain is interpreting pain, and the only way to address this is by reprogramming it.  Other treatments might include a careful exercise regime, specifically tailored to your needs, and of course if there is any injury still around then that will need to be addressed first.

Chronic pain is one of the most nightmareish scenarios to find yourself in, but it is not hopeless.  The important thing is to get the right help from the right people, and be willing to help yourself with their guidance.  You can have a normal life, with a normal job and you can be happy in a world without continual pain.  Believe it.

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