Updated: Feb 11
Persistent pain is by far the biggest health issue throughout the world, yet it has the least amount of funding compared to the better-known health issues such as Cancer & Heart disease. What does pain mean to you? Your pain is real and has meaning and context, but sometimes it can be difficult to work out why we have pain and what we can do to reduce it. Here are a few things to help us understand our pain and be better able to make sense of it and therefore help us to reduce it. Pain is generally a warning signal alerting us to potential harm, but we need to know why this might be in order to help. Sometimes we need to lighten the "load" so we can cope better with everything that is going on in our lives. We describe this a the Bio-Pyscho-Social model as it encompasses the Biological, Psychological, and Sociological parts and perhaps even our spiritual being. All parts contributing to our daily stressors or the "load" we need to be able to manage. We don't have an infinite capacity so making sure we aren't constantly going beyond our capacity helps to reduce pain.
Pain protects us, we need it.
Pain is not a measure of damage.
Your body doesn't detect pain.
Pain is a message constructed within the brain.
Pain can be very precise but also very imprecise in the case of persistent pain.
We can have pain without damage and damage without pain.
Pain is by far the biggest burden on society but has the least amount spent on it in research and treatment. (compared to other diseases)
Pain is influenced by many factors within a Bio-Pyscho-Social element. Here are some common ways to help us manage or reduce pain:
Beware of unhealthy beliefs.
Change the language around pain.
Reduce fear of movement.
Exercise in various forms.
Improvements to general health (sleep, stress, nutrition).
Manual therapy such as massage.