You may be surprised to find out 3.24 million Australians live with chronic pain. That’s a lot of people who struggle with everyday functioning and tasks, and when you’re one of them, you know just how much it can affect you. In fact, experts are forecasting that by 2050, 5.23 million Australians will experience chronic pain, compared to 2020’s statistic of 3.37 million.
When you’re experiencing chronic pain, the things you could easily do before now come with additional hurdles to overcome, and it can certainly lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment. But did you know osteopathy can help with chronic pain?
This blog explains what chronic pain is, and how osteopathy can assist with managing chronic pain conditions. For further information or to book an osteopathy appointment, contact our friendly and helpful team at The Whole Body Clinic today.
Chronic Pain vs Acute Pain vs No Pain
There’s a fine line when it comes to pain. Some people can’t feel pain at all— a condition called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain— which may sound great, but actually often results in a shorter lifespan due to the inability to notice when something is wrong. Pain is important as it alerts your body to when something isn’t quite right, but a constant overload of it is what’s called chronic pain.
Chronic pain differs from acute pain in that it lasts much longer (a minimum of three months). Acute pain is felt when we experience sudden pain that dissipates over time, for example if you strain a muscle or cut your hand while cooking. This quickly sends a pain signal message to the brain, where it forms a memory of the event to remind you to (hopefully) not experience the same event again.
What is Chronic Pain?
When you’re not in pain, the everyday things come easily. Getting out of bed, putting on your shoes, whipping up a quick dinner. No matter the reason for your chronic pain, it impacts your daily functioning and can cause you distress.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for a minimum of three months. It can be any type and any amount of pain for any reason— the length of time it has lasted is what defines it. It can be from an ongoing condition such as arthritis, migraines, or many others. It can also develop after an accident or injury where the injury takes longer than expected to heal. Chronic pain is complex and often hard to understand as it involves many different systems within the body.
How Osteopathy Can Help With Chronic Pain
Osteopathy is a whole body approach to health care. It centres around the notion that the body is a unit, and so takes the whole body into consideration. This is called a holistic approach.
Talking It Out
When you’re experiencing chronic pain, your osteopath will empathise with your unique situation. They will firstly talk with you to determine your pain history, methods you may have already tried, and any other information regarding your pain.
They will then conduct an assessment to try to identify the underlying cause if it’s not already known, and test your pain to discover which treatments could be most beneficial for you.
The next step is to create your personalised treatment plan to help you manage your chronic pain. This will look different for each person and each individual illness or injury. Taking a holistic approach to the musculoskeletal system, your osteopath will see how your joints, muscles, nerves, and other systems interact and develop a customised plan for you.
These treatments can comprise of one or several of the following:
- Stretching— assists with improving and maintaining flexibility
- Massage— can be gentle or deep tissue, focused on releasing tension
- Dry needling— placed into a tight muscle or trigger point to release tightness and improve pain
- Articulation or joint mobilisation— passive mobilisation of the spine or joint to help with joint movement
- Shockwave therapy— a hand held probe which transmits acoustic waves through to the affected tissue
- Myofascial release— stretching tissues to loosen fascia, a thin casing of connective tissue
Looking For an Osteopath in Brisbane?
If you’re experiencing chronic pain, we understand the impact it can have on your daily life. At Whole Body Clinic our experienced and empathetic osteopaths will work with you to create a personalised plan that aims to assist with your day to day functioning and overall wellness. We offer treatment to residents throughout Brisbane including Mount Gravatt, Park Ridge, Holland Park, Moorooka, Sunnybank, Wishart, Mackenzie, Carindale, Wellers Hill, Greenslopes, and Eight Mile Plains.
To get started on managing your chronic pain, make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable osteopaths today.