Getting chronic pain better: a physio's guide

Getting chronic pain better: a physio's guide

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After the morning cup of tea, my priority for the rest of the day is treating pain

Typically with acute injuries, providing advice, manual therapy and the appropriate exercisewill improve pain quickly.

Pain that is disproportional to injury and/or becomes persistent is much trickier to treat. The reason for this is that many factors other than pathology may be driving the pain response.

 What do I do to get a tricky customer like chronic pain better? Here are a few tools I find useful.

  1. Goal setting: When anything you do hurts, it can be difficult to see how things can be better. Setting goals help ensure treatment is specific and provides ongoing motivation during your rehabilitation journey.

  2. Pacing: A fancy term for “slow down”. With chronic pain some people will find doing even five minutes of a simple task aggravating. Establishing an appropriate baseline of activity and a plan to progress will improve your activity tolerance and set you up to hit your goal!

  3. The Protectometer: What I love about using this book is that it provides fun activities that allow you to identify and understand how internal and external factors in your life impact on your pain. Once you realise what they are, you control your pain instead of the other way around!

Treating pain is my job, and I don’t mind dealing with tricky customers like chronic pain. If you have persistent pain, try one of these strategies and let me know how you go.

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