WHAT CAUSES PAIN?
Pain actually comes from the brain and is influenced by attitudes, beliefs, personality and social factors, and can affect emotional and mental wellbeing. The brain assesses all this information (things such as past experiences, the current injury and the situation), and then decides whether pain is a necessary and purposeful response (such as detecting potentially harmful heat from a hotplate or scanning for sharp objects sticking into our feet as we walk along a path). Pain results when these evaluations suggest we need to change behaviour to protect ourselves.
WHAT CAN EXTEND OFFER?
Our physiotherapists at Extend are well-placed to provide education on the complexities of pain and how the nervous and immune systems work. They also play a key role in developing an activity plan for regaining function. Our physiotherapists may use techniques such as taping and exercises to facilitate muscle use and regain fitness or use a brace or splint to support healing. They may teach pain management techniques that might include distraction, mindfulness, positive thinking and reconceptualisation of the pain experience (often in conjunction with other treating practitioners).
The following may have a role in the management of pain once a thorough assessment has been completed:
Education has been shown to have an important role in reducing fear associated with pain. Education allows the person with pain to better understand the contributors to and purpose of the pain, empowering them to take more control of their situation. Education needs to be delivered thoughtfully, with regards to the amount of information, the level of detail and the format of education sessions. The physiotherapists at Extend take time to explain pain so that the patient can understand. We have a range of resources to draw on in order to help you learn in the best way.
Exercise has a range of benefits and this is an area that Extend Physiotherapy are keen to explore. It is used as a strategy to resume function. It may assist in restoring strength, mobility and fitness levels. In some pain conditions, exercise may reduce the pain itself. Exercise can also be unsuccessful if you have not got the starting point right. Your physiotherapist will be able to guide you in the process of determining where to start and how to steadily and consistently reintroduce you to the activities that are part of everyday life. It is important to set goals and work in a paced manner towards achieving them.