female with chronic pain neck

What is Pain? Part 3

How can Osteopathy help you?

As discussed in Part 1 , pain is the result of complex brain processes, which are influenced by overlapping physical (nociceptive and neuropathic), psychological, and environmental factors. Your osteopath can help you identify and address these factors:

  • Physical/biological factors – we will do a physical assessment to discover the tissues that are injured (acute) or were injured in the past (chronic). We will show which movements and positions to avoid as they may aggravate the area and stop it from recovering, and which exercises to perform to help you become stronger and more resilient. It might be that you are stiff and need more mobility, or that you need to increase the strength in certain muscles. Sometimes we need to just move more and walking is a good starting exercise. Other times we do too much and overload the tissues, and rest and recovery is also ok.
  • Psychological factors – during the interview we may ask different questions to try to discover what is worrying you, what your past injuries and pain experiences have been like, what your beliefs about the injury are, what is causing extra stress. We will provide stress copying strategies like mindfulness or stretching with breathing exercises and, if we think you may benefit from the expert advice of a psychologist we will refer you to see them. We believe a multidisciplinary approach is the best way to fight chronic pain.  
  • Environmental/social factors: we will help you identify what social factors are affecting your pain experience negatively. It could be your work peers, cultural traditions, family circumstances and relationships or maybe your financial situation. For example, someone who is under great stress due to their family life or work load might have a lower threshold for pain. Sometimes, recognising this stress and asking for some friend or family support will help you cope better with the situation and therefore decrease your pain experience.

In a nutshell, only you can know what your pain experience is like. But pain is influenced by physical, psychological and social factors. If we can help you deal with your pain in a holistic way addressing all the factors instead of just looking to help the tissue heal, then you have a better chance of recovering and overcoming your pain experience.

Do you have any questions or doubts regarding pain? Please, do not hesitate to contact us via the CONTACT FORM or call the clinic and ask to talk to your osteopath.

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