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What Is Chronic Pain?

If pain persists for 3 months or longer, it is considered chronic and, while not necessarily maladaptive, it often leads to physical decline, limited functional ability and emotional distress.

If pain persists in spite of medical treatment, as is the case in chronic pain syndromes, the issues can be complex. 

The problem could be due to progression of the disease (the pathology in the tissues) but also due to the vicious circle people find themselves in. A person who has pain, especially on movement, tends to avoid doing things that provoke their symptoms.

They may rest but this is not a helpful treatment as it leads to secondary stiffness and weakness, causing worsening of the symptom that the individual is trying to avoid. 

Reduced function can lead to a loss of role and self-esteem, sleep deprivation which can all cause worry and low mood which can worsen the situation further.

Here at Phoenix rehab Group, our Chronic Pain Physiotherapists use an active approach to improve the way that an individual manages and copes with their pain.

The approach is related to problem solving and returning control to the individual.

How can Chronic Pain Physiotherapeutic Management help patients who feel that pain rules their lives?

Chronic pain is managed actively by empowering a client to understand their condition.

It utilises supervised exercise as a “training ground” to teach the client how to independently upgrade (or temporarily downgrade) their exercise program and how to implement strategies independently to cope with setbacks.

The sessions will include:

  1. Providing education for safe movement
  2. Gentle stretching and core strengthening to improve physical function,
  3. A graded aerobic exercise program to harness the pain relieving effects of general exercise
  4. A graded strengthening exercise program based at home or a local gym (for global reconditioning)
  5. Goal setting
  6. Self-management coping strategies that a client can implement to prevent flare ups in pain or to manage exacerbation in pain.
  7. Instruction on a range of pacing techniques,
  8. Careful planning of tasks and daily activities
  9. Relaxation training
  10. Mindfulness for Health training
  11. Advice on Pool therapy

Many people find the treatment enables them to take back control of their lives, to do more functional activities and generally feel better.

Part of the Chronic Pain treatment will include an approach called Therapeutic Neuroscience Education (TNE) which teaches patients about the biological processes of pain.

Teaching people with pain more about the neuroscience of their pain (TNE) produces some impressive immediate and long-term changes:

  • Decrease in Pain
  • Improvement in function
  • Reduction in fear
  • Increased positive thoughts about pain
  • Increase in knowledge of pain
  • Improvement in Movement
  • Improvement in Function
  • Better activation of muscles
  • The brain calms down, as seen on brain scans
  • Willingness to do exercise

If you would like to better manage your chronic pain, contact Phoenix Rehab Group