Love your pain - it is actually doing you good
Pain is a very clever and completely normal body response, an incredibly effective alarm system. It is your brain is telling you that something is wrong. It helps to protect you from making the problem worse and helps healing by forcing you to take notice and do something about it. Once you take care of the problem, pain usually goes away.
It is common to feel fearful of pain but you need to remember that most pain will go away or settle down over time and with the right care and treatment. It is not always a quick fix but it is extremely rare (1%) for the pain to be caused by a serious medical problem.
Most of us have experienced pain somewhere, at some point in our lives. Pain may be sharp or dull, it may come and go, or it may be constant. You may feel pain in one area of your body, or you may feel pain all over. Pain is classified as either acute (less than 3 months) or chronic (more than 3 months). It can affect your whole life sleep, activities, work, everyday tasks, moods. Therefore it is important to take control of it early.
Back pain has lots of causes, some common ones are: injury in a work or recreational accident, bad posture during extensive sitting or standing, heavy or incorrect lifting techniques, muscular spasm or weakness, a jerky sudden movement, a lumpy mattress, diseases like scoliosis and kyphosis, the weight of a pregnancy or decreased flexibility with age. Back ache can also be a secondary effect of hip, knee or foot problems or other areas of the body or organs.
Sometimes chronic pain is due to an ongoing cause, such as cancer or arthritis. Sometimes the cause will never be known and it is often not necessary to determine the exact cause in order to treat the problem successfully.
So if your brain is warning you about pain and you are doing nothing about, hoping it will go away on its own, take notice as this often leads to extended efforts to treat it in the long run. If people took the time to take care of their body, a lot of serious complaints could be avoided. Regular check-ups and getting your pain checked hastily can help avoid long term issues and many months of treatment.
Why is it we regularly maintain our car servicing but ignore our most precious means of transport!
Osteopaths treat pain every day. Osteopathy is a drug free form of manual medicine. It treats the body's musculoskeletal components (joints, muscles and spine) through gentle hands on techniques such as soft tissue stretching and massage, deep tactile pressure, and the mobilisation and manipulation of joints.
Apart from pain relief, osteopathy has other benefits for the bad back sufferer. The manipulation and mobilisation performed in treatment positively affects the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, to deliver a better balanced body and better health overall.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to treat pain. Not everything works for everyone. If something you have tried hasn't worked, there are other approaches you can try- so don't give up altogether and suffer.
It is important to not discontinue treatment and maintain contact with your health practitioner. If the pain is not settling down or is getting worse, you may need further assessment or referral to another practitioner for a different type of treatment, or a multi-modality approach.
Follow-up visits provide you with an opportunity to obtain more information, and ask any questions, or request a referral to another health practitioner. Your osteopath will help you develop the most effective course of action to manage your pain.
Osteopaths recommend the following 10 tips for back care:
- For back pain, see your osteopath sooner rather than later.
- Take regular exercise e.g. swimming, walking or stretching.
- Avoid "computer slump." Sit tall and breathe with the diaphragm.
- During repetitive tasks take frequent breaks or vary your activity.
- Bend the knees when reaching down, bending forward or lifting, and carry weight close to the body not at arm's length, avoid twisting. Our backs are forklifts, not cranes!
- Watch children's posture. Carrying heavy school bags on one shoulder is a no-no, and sitting on electronic devices hunched forward
- During pregnancy, osteopathy can help your body to adjust to changes as the baby grows.
- Avoid strain when lifting, particularly carrying small children and heavy shopping.
- Make sure you have a good quality and supportive mattress your bed could be part of the problem.
- Do your best to make your workplace more ergonomically friendly
If you are suffering from pain or back problems contact Elemental Health on (02) 8084 0081 to book an appointment with our Osteopath Vanessa Malone.
|Tags:Pain managementPreventative medicineOsteopathy|