In Australia, Chronic Pain is a big issue with 1 in 5 people experiencing chronic pain throughout their life, with a higher proportion of females experiencing chronic pain compared to men. Two-thirds of people who report experiencing chronic pain also report that pain interferes with activities of daily living, such as sleep, work-related tasks, sexual activities, and their mental and emotional wellbeing.
What is acute pain?
What is chronic pain?
What is happening in my body when I have Chronic Pain?
In the case of acute, pain this is a helpful response as it allows you to remove your hand from the hot plate before being badly burnt, as just one example! However, in the case of chronic pain, the brain can often decide "yes, this is dangerous!" when there is no actual threat of danger or damage to the tissues. This process is often termed central sensitisation, which means that your pain alarm system is overactive. This has occurred due to changes in the way your body transmits, interprets, and responds to stimulus. It is much like a highly sensitive car alarm that continues to go off when it is windy even though no one is breaking into the car. Similarly, in chronic pain, pain does not always equal damage, harm, or risk.
What is the treatment for Chronic Pain?
How can exercise help chronic pain?
Previously, there was a misconception that exercise would increase pain in chronic pain sufferers. Now we know that the opposite is true - a more active approach (regular exercise) is needed to "quieten down" the pain system, by improving muscle conditioning, correcting postures, muscle imbalances, and improving cardio-respiratory endurance, all of which may be contributing to the chronic sensations of pain. Aside from the physical benefits of completing an exercise program, there are numerous additional benefits including improved sleep, decreased medication use, increased energy, improved mood, decreased severity of depression and anxiety, improved bone health, achievement of healthy weight status, decreased pain flare-ups, and the prevention and management of other health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
How can an Exercise Physiologist help?
How can Inspire Fitness for Wellbeing help?
Contact Inspire Fitness for Wellbeing on (03) 9857 3007 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on our Pain Management Service.