This great video from Australia explains in under five minutes the latest understanding of what persistent pain is and how best to deal with it.
Acute vs Persistent Pain
Acute pain results from tissue injury and is mostly self-limiting in under 3 months. Pain lasting longer than 3 months comes from the brain and is the result of over-sensitized nerve cells. This sort of pain used to be termed chronic pain. Patients tend to understand chronic pain as particularly severe pain as opposed to long-standing pain so we now refer to it as persistent pain; pain that has existed for a long time. In my last post I gave you the ‘Tazzy’ persistent pain booklet which is a great summary of this sort of pain. The video below gives the same message in pictorial form making it quicker and more intuitive to understand.
What to do about persistent pain.
Persistent pain needs a holistic, pro-active approach.
- Do take pain killers, have acupuncture and chiropractic, but don’t suppose these ‘passive’ treatments are all you need to do.
- Surgery is rarely the answer for persistent pain. If this is recommended get a second opinion.
- Stay active; a sedentary lifestyle isn’t the answer to anything! Move frequently.
- Eat a healthy diet, don’t smoke, drink in moderation.
- Manage stress levels. Anything that over-excites your nervous system will turn up the volume of your persistent pain. Acupuncture has the advantage over other physical therapies in being able to calm and balance both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
- Explore your range of motion – movement methods like Feldenkrais can be really helpful.
- Mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you see mental triggers that aggravate your pain.