You’re walking along the street and you roll your ankle on the pavement, OUCH!! It is extremely painful in that moment and continues to hurt for the next few days, your ankle swells. Because of the pain and swelling you avoid putting weight on your ankle, however over the next few days the pain slowly subsides and it becomes easier and easier to walk. Soon enough you’re back to your regular activities. This is an example of acute pain. In this instance, your brain produces pain in order to protect you from doing further tissue damage and promotes healing. It ensures you won’t injure yourself further.

If pain is a protective alarm system, why can some people suffer pain past the normal tissue healing time?

In these instances, termed chronic pain; your pain lasts for longer than three months. Chronic pain persists due to changes which occur within the nervous system. The nervous system becomes more sensitive and this means we need to manage it in a different fashion to acute injuries.

We know that addressing lifestyle factors, including stress and sleep, as well as increasing exercise, are really important in managing chronic pain. Other tools you can apply include relaxation, meditation, distraction and pacing techniques.

Chronic pain can have huge implications on your life and many feel quite hopeless in regards to managing it. Self-empowerment is really important for taking control of your pain and in turn your life. Your osteopath and physiotherapist can perform a thorough assessment and determine the factors which may be implicated in your pain persisting. They can also help advise on the aforementioned changes to assist you in taking control of your pain.

Osteohealth has a pain program coming up. If you are currently dealing with chronic pain, this may be of great assistance to you. See the details below:

-Kate Johnson