The Key To Effective Pain Management

by | Apr 10, 2024 | All Blogs, Health, pain management

Chronic pain is insistent, debilitating, has no clear cause and can last for several months or longer. The good news is, leading research is now suggesting the key to effective relief…

At the risk of stating the obvious, pain is one of the important ways your body tells you that all is not well. Under normal circumstances, your body responds automatically to pain to keep you safe, which is why we instantly remove our hand from the hot stove or move out of a position that hurts somewhere. But there is another type of pain that is all too common these days and wreaks havoc in many people’s lives.

Chronic pain is insistent, debilitating, has no clear cause and can last for several months or longer. Chronic pain typically follows the acute (usually short-term) pain associated with an injury, continues after recovery from the injury and significantly impacts a person’s daily activities and overall quality of life. Many people are unable to find the help they need to get relief from chronic pain.

The good news is that cutting edge research is now suggesting answers to the challenging questions of how and why acute pain can become chronic and – most importantly – what can be done about it.

Here are three important factors that any pain therapy should consider.

1. Pain can be caused by different body systems not functioning as they should
  • Inflammatory pain is largely associated with tissue injury which may be the result of a sports injury or conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Muscular tension and/or spasm can also cause pain, for example tension headaches, dysmenorrhea and musculoskeletal pain.
  • Pain may also be a consequence of pressure on or impingement on nerves, such as in sciatica, fibromyalgia syndrome and some cancers. Pain that is felt as burning, hot and cold, ‘pins and needles’, stinging, stabbing or shooting indicates injury or damage to nerve tissue.
2. Fascial health is the key to pain-free function

The body’s response to pain is complex and involves highly specialised neurons that move messages very rapidly between the brain and body. Problems arise when our pain response gets corrupted and creates unhelpful feedback loops that can increase our sensations of pain even when the original cause is no longer present.

For example, the body’s fascia is a web of sensitive connective tissue that ‘wraps’ the entire body, supporting and holding every muscle, joint and organ in place. Fascial tissue is highly sensitive to stress responses triggered in the brain that cause contraction as the body prepares for ‘fight or flight’. This contraction affects the body’s fascia web, causing it to become chronically tight with fluid loss and the build-up of toxins. The key to returning the body to normal pain-free function is to focus on restoring fascial health.

3. Take a holistic approach to pain management

The way your body responds to acute or chronic pain is influenced by your internal and external environment. In addition to your internal, genetic make-up, external factors including obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, psycho-social factors such as trauma (past or present) and stress are all known to influence the way your body deals with pain. This is why taking a holistic approach to your health is essential to lessen the hold that pain can have on your life.

Your next step…

To help you manage your pain, it is important to work with a qualified and experienced health care practitioner whose opinion you trust. In addressing the cause of your pain, they are likely to discuss your diet and sleep habits with you.

  • A wholefood diet may reduce pain by up to 33%. This was reported in a recent systematic review of 43 studies examining wholefood dietary interventions in chronic pain conditions.
  • A diet containing antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruits and berries is important, along with adequate protein to create those all-important building blocks for healthy cells.
  • Drinking plenty of good quality water, with alcohol in moderation, is also key.
  • Developing good sleep habits of REM and non-REM sleep enables the body to ‘recalibrate’ and reset all systems for a new start on waking.

In my Clinic, I help my clients recover from pain using a combination of muscle and ligament manipulation and specialised massage techniques. These help by reducing activity in the pain-sensing areas of the nervous system, releasing tension and helping induce a sense of deep relaxation. “After your treatment I slept better than I have for a long time” is feedback I often hear from my patients!

From a Naturopathic/Herbal perspective too, there is much to offer to relieve pain, such as nutrients and herbs that assist the nerves and reduce pain and muscle spasm. Part of the human food chain from the beginning of time, herbs support the systems of the body and are gentle on the sensitive gastrointestinal lining while having profound, documented effects.

 

About Trisha

A practicing therapist for over a decade, Trisha holds qualifications from the Australian Institute of Applied Science.

Trisha offers specialised services in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, Craniosacral, Manipulative Muscle Therapy and Massage at her clinic in Boonah, Queensland.

She helps her clients with conditions that include persistent pain; muscle and sciatic pain; problem joints; repetitive strain or sports injuries; and weight loss.

I help children, adults and the elderly improve their long-term health and wellbeing. Naturally.

Follow me on Facebook or call for an appointment at my Boonah Clinic.