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Top Five Tips for Chronic Pain Management

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Most people would agree that pain is unpleasant but it is also a very necessary part of life.  If you couldn’t feel any pain then how would you know if the iron is too hot to touch, or if you have brushed up against an electric fence, or if you have broken your ankle? All of these things require a response to protect you from harm, move you away before you get burnt or stop you moving so the fracture can heal.

Once the risk has been avoided or the tissue damage is healed then the pain should naturally stop, as it is not needed anymore. However in some people, this process does not occur correctly. There are also some people who are born without the ability to feel pain properly and this can have serious consequences.  Despite ongoing research, there are no definite answers as to why this can happen, but most research covers the processes of pain in the brain, and how signals up and down between the body tissues and the brain are misinterpreted, over-exaggerated or both.

Recently, I spoke with Arun Alex, one of our Physiotherapists at Physiocomestoyou in Wells, Somerset, about our best management strategies for chronic pain.  Some, we agree, are excellent tools a physiotherapist can employ in the treatment of chronic pain.  Here are our top five:

1)     Pacing

The key to pacing is establishing your base line for pain management. This is half way between what you can achieve on a bad day and what you can achieve on a good day.  Pushing yourself on a good day could lead to a bad day the next day, so its important to pace yourself to enable a gradual return to your normal hobbies and day to day activities.

2)     Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a natural form of pain relief that can help people to control their symptoms enough to allow exercises and pacing techniques to be achievable.

3)     Education

Physiotherapists can spent a lot of time with their clients compared to consultants and other medical professionals. We can therefore spend more time explaining the underlying physiological reasons as to why symptoms occur and how the pain can be managed.

4)     Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy can be controversial, as many medical professionals won’t want to do hands on treatment for people suffering with chronic pain conditions. However, there is some emerging evidence that on the right person, hands on treatment to release muscle tightness, or to improve joint movement is very useful alongside other techniques.

5)     Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a speaking treatment aimed at the processes occurring within the brain tissues that may be contributing to your symptoms of physical pain.

Do you want to work with a physiotherapist to manage chronic pain?  Call us today to discuss your symptoms and see whether we can help you to achieve your goals on 0207 884 0374 or email us at