What is Chronic Pain?

Typically, pain that lasts for 3 months or more is of the “Chronic” type. While injuries and mishaps are the most common causes, many suffer from chronic pain in the absence of any past injuries or evidence of bodily damage. If left untreated, chronic pain may worsen and even present difficulties in managing at a later time.

Why is Chronic pain persistent?
  • The “feeling of pain” is transmitted directly to the brain from the affected part via nerves. Our body modulates the degree of pain (excruciating to minimal) based on the rate of healing at the affected site and our central nervous system
  • In presence of pain, our body’s “alarm system” turns on, which protects and prevents further damage and draws attention to the affected part
  • In those suffering from Chronic Pain, the “alarm system” continues to remain in an elevated state causing consistent pain and hypersensitivity
  • Overtime, this pain may smudge and spread to surrounding areas, leading to fear of movement, anxiety and could lead to a decrease in daily function and social activities
What are some effective ways of managing Chronic Pain without medication?
  • External Environment: While our internal environment is responsible for pain perception, our external surroundings play an important role too. Chaotic environments will create a stressful response in the brain and will in turn keep the “alarm system” elevated and highly sensitive, likewise a calm and a managed environment can have a soothing effect on your pain and can help keep the “alarm system” lowered down
  • Light Exercises: Help maintain serotonin and dopamine levels in the body which naturally help with pain reduction.
Causes for chronic pain
  • Root cause is not addressed appropriately at the first instance
  • Lack of treatment/inappropriate treatment
  • Lack of guided movements or exercises
  • Keeping your body in one position for a long time
  • Increased Stress and Anxiety levels
  • Constantly being in a chaotic environment externally and internally
Tips for managing chronic pain
  • Get your condition evaluated by a trained physiotherapist to understand the root cause. Let a trained physiotherapist administer an appropriate treatment plan
  • Manage your stress levels at work and home. Seek counselling if needed, Practice diaphragmatic breathing exercises to calm your nervous system
  • Keep moving throughout the day. Avoid maintaining one position for more than an hour
  • Make sure you get a good sleep through the night for managing your pain.

No pain no gain is not always true in every scenario. Key to getting better is understanding the limits of your body, slowly expanding its boundaries without limiting yourself. If you are hurting and in physical pain, you need to move under the guidance of a professional. Remember, motion is lotion and physiotherapy is a great tool in helping you understand your body, understanding the root cause and managing your pain therapeutically.