The 22nd until the 26th of July is National Pain Week!
The 22nd – 26th of July is National Pain Week. The aim of National Pain Week is to raise public awareness, patient education and de-stigmatisation of chronic pain. Our blog this month will discuss chronic pain and highlight the different ways you can help manage it in your life.
Chronic pain refers to persistent, ongoing pain which lasts beyond three months time. One in five Australians live in chronic pain, including children and adolescents. This prevalence rises to one in three people over the age of 65. Acute pain can transition into chronic pain if it is left untreated or if it is not properly managed in the acute setting. Chronic pain will manifest when the body’s tissue healing process lasts longer than the expected tissue healing phase – typically around 3 months time. The longer pain goes untreated, the higher the risk of developing chronic pain. This is primarily due to an increase of neuroplastic changes occurring in central nervous system, making the body more alert and sensitive to pain. Timely and effective treatment of acute pain is therefore essential to help prevent the transition into chronic pain. Seeking help for chronic pain management typically involves taking a multidisciplinary approach, in which physical, mental and social health components are all addressed to help decrease the adverse impact of chronic pain. While chronic pain is complex and requires professional pain management, there are things you can implement in your everyday life that help decrease pain levels and increase quality of life. Some tips and tricks that may assist with your pain relief include…
Stretching and Breathing… taking time out each day to stretch your muscles whilst focusing on deep, rhythmic breathing will help to calm down the central nervous system, decrease the body’s response to pain stimulus and generate a feeling of calm and relaxation in tense muscles.
Move… It is so important to keep your body active and moving. Gentle movements will help to increase blood flow around the body, promote lymph flow and increase tissue detoxification. It will also lubricate joints with synovial fluid to assist them in moving easier. Movement also releases endorphins in the brain, which boosts feelings of positivity and decreases pain perception.
Natural remedies… There are a range of natural remedies that are recommended for pain relief. Two of our favourites are magnesium and theracurmin. Magnesium is a mineral that assists with muscle relaxation, bone health, calcium absorption, heart health, migraines, anxiety and general muscle health and well-being. Theracurmin is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can also help to maintain a healthy digestive function, it’s an antioxidant support and it assists with gallbladder function. We stock both magnesium and theracurmin in the clinic, if you wish to know more, please just ask us next time you’re in.
Regular treatments… There are hundreds of forms of treatment that can assist with chronic pain. If you try one modality and don’t feel the results, it is important not to be disheartened. This just might not be the right treatment for you and your pain. Some of the more common treatments are massage, myotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic and physiotherapy. However, it’s important not to forget about more alternative options such as traditional Chinese medicine, nutrition and acupuncture. It is also recommended that you persist with three treatments before determining whether or not it is right for you. You may also find a combination of health professionals create the perfect recipe for your pain relief.
Please note that all of these tips are suggestions only, if you are unsure about whether or not it is right for you, please consult with your GP first.