What is Chronic Pain?

Approximately 1 in 5 people are thought to suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting longer than 6 months and can be present in the absence of past injury or evidence of tissue damage. It is important to distinguish chronic pain from acute pain.

Current understanding of pain and its origins have changed in recent years. We now know that pain is not purely a sensation created by the tissues in the body but a perception generated by the brain in response to multiple stimuli. Pain is an unpleasant experience urging us to protect from perceived threat, it can be amplified by the central nervous system and persist even when injury has healed. All pain that is felt is real, but is not necessarily related to damage in the body.

How do you treat chronic pain?

Current literature shows that no single modality alone is particularly effective in the treatment of chronic pain and therefore a holistic, integrated approach is essential. As pain is regulated by the central nervous system, it is important that treatment is designed to reduce stress on this system, treatments may include

  • Pain science education
  • Mindfulness
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Exercise rehabilitation
  • Manual therapy
  • Medications (prescribed by your doctor or specialist)

Here at Inner North Osteopathy our team has a particular interest in chronic pain including both management and treatment. We encourage a multi-disciplinary approach for chronic pain and often work in team care arrangements with other health care professionals to provide the best care for our patients.

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