In my last Blog I decided to take a look at the recent ban of Codeine based products and the impact this medication can have on you, the individual.
While this ban has been put in place I felt not enough information has been communicated about the available alternatives for anyone who now finds themselves in a position where they are suffering PAIN – be it acute or chronic.
Before going any further though, I wanted to discuss the IMPACT of chronic pain.
Did you know 1.5 billion, yes BILLION, people worldwide suffer chronic pain?
Did you know there are over 4 million people, within Australia alone, who currently suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis and 1.6milion of these are aged over 65+?
Mind blowing numbers – so let’s try to understand the DIFFERENCES between acute and chronic pain?
Acute pain is pain which has been triggered by a specific event. It has a physiological activator which could be localised pain, like a sprained ankle, referred pain as in sciatic, inflammatory pain like tissue trauma from a forceful impact or depressed immune system, OR muscular contractions. However, it doesn’t normally last longer than 6 months.
Chronic pain is a diseased state (“dis ease” when the body is not at rest with itself). It usually has been ongoing for more than 6 months. There is usually no one definable event or cause behind it manifesting because it is an output of the brain. There are good days and bad days and it is hard to reproduce the exact pain being felt by simply doing a certain action or activity. It has no pathologic activator! Which means it can be neuropathic ie. shooting, burning, unrelenting pain OR pathologic as in alterations to tissue and normal pathologic processes eg Parkinsons or Fibromyalgia.
Many sufferers of chronic pain are extremely sensitive both emotionally and physically. This brings with it a mental health component. The sufferer may be stressed or fearful of pain thereby exhibiting a response by avoiding a particular situation (psychological) – which may activate pain. Validating their pain emotionally – through signs of depression or anxiety, and constantly being on the fight/flight express train, can display as heightened neuro-hypersensitivity.
Chronic pain – can impact your
- Quality of life – relationships, social, activities
- Mental health – depression, anxiety, sadness, unhappiness
- Ability to work or stay focused at work
- Understanding of your own pain – it is complex – no 2 individuals experience chronic pain the same way
SO WHAT THE HECK DO I KNOW ABOUT CHRONIC PAIN
Well I have lived with chronic pain since birth and I openly admit I am my own worst enemy when it comes to taking advice, on how to handle my condition, as I am sure most of us are.
I was well into my 20s before I began to realise, and recognise, my body’s indicators crying for help.
You see at one point I ended up in hospital for 4 days with chronic neck and shoulder pain and stiffness. I couldn’t flex or rotate my neck without severe migraine like headaches. I was tested for everything under the sun – from influenza to meningitis, lumbar punctures, blood tests, tissue samples all came up negative. The solution, medical not mine, was to knock me out cold for 48hrs!!!
YES I have masked my body’s indicators with medication.
YES I have cried with pain behind closed doors, or in the shower, and then presented myself with a smile on my face so no one could tell how much pain I was in.
Other times I have had to give in to the pain as it has taken me out of action several times my pain has also meant extended time off work.
Admittedly, I have also found myself in moments of depression because the pain has been so bad. BUT, I have also been very lucky to have found various interventions that are now my immediate GO TOs.
After I was released I decided never again, I decided to find alternative interventions including acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, flotation tanks, relaxation massage and pilates. AND for me it was Bowen Yherapy where I found consistent relief and a way to manage my pain.
AND yes I do still take the odd pain relief.
If you can connect the dots between your lifestyle, diet, nutrition, mental health, exercise ability etc you will find an approach that assists you to manage your pain. It may be as simple as one modality or several integrated modalities.
So don’t despair. It may take a bit of investigation, body assessment and effort, but together
- We can determine where and what is causing your pain
- We can utilise Bowen Therapy in your pain management plan
- We can set positive achievable goals for your pain management
- We can educate and help you implement the correct exercises to keep you supported
- AND you can start to regain a level of Quality of Life
If you would like to learn more about how Bowen Therapy can assist you please call Gail on 0417 005 510.
PAIN doesn’t have to rule your life!!!