A typical morning……
You wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed and leap out of bed. A few good stretches and you scamper downstairs, two at a time! With a bounce in your step you get on with some chores: empty the dishwasher, bending easily and fluidly, prepare the veggies for your evening meal, hands strong and supple. A twenty minute exercise sequence and then it’s off to walk the dog. No difficulties bending over to pick up those little “parcels” that Fido leaves for you to deal with!!
The many tasks that lay ahead on this day don’t overwhelm you; your shoulders are relaxed and your mind is clear. Isn’t that how it goes? For many, the answer is a resounding NO!!
If you have pain then this is probably the exact opposite of what your average day feels like?
Maybe you don’t call it pain? Maybe you call it discomfort, tension, or something that doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe you can’t remember when your joints didn’t ache or your back wasn’t stiff?
Being pain-free is a necessary component of good health. It’s much easier to live a good life when you feel good.
You may attribute how you feel to your lifestyle, age, or genetics. But now it’s time to look at the whole picture and learn how to reduce your pain.
Some painful statistics:
It is estimated that 1 in 5 people will experience chronic pain during their life, with prevalence increasing with age. The chronic pain definition relates to pain lasting for more than three months. The following statistics from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) make for grim reading:
- A systematic review and meta-analysis found that [Fayaz, 2016]:
- Between one-third and one-half of the UK population (just under 28 million adults) are affected by chronic pain.
- The UK prevalence ranged from:
- 35.0–51.3% for chronic pain.
- 10.4–14.3% for moderate to severely disabling pain.
- The prevalence in people aged:
- 18–25 years was 14.3%, although the prevalence in those aged 18–39 years may be as high as 30%.
- Over 75 years was 62%.
- The prevalence of different types of pain was:
- 14.2% for chronic widespread pain.
- 8.2% for chronic neuropathic pain.
- 5.4% for fibromyalgia.
- Chronic pain was more common in women than in men.
- Across Europe, approximately 18% of the population are currently affected by moderate to severe chronic pain
The NICE Guidelines recommend acupuncture for pain in many situations
Types and Underlying Causes of Pain
Pain is often described as either
- Acute or
The cause of acute pain is often very simple. It involves a one-time event or trauma that produces an acute injury with accompanying intense, sometimes excruciating, pain.
Your nervous system uses this pain to get your attention in order to avoid further injury.
Following an acute injury, pain usually decreases and becomes a more subtle message that you need to protect and rest the injured area.
Ideally your injury heals, your body recovers, and the pain signal is no longer needed. However, when pain from an acute trauma isn’t fully resolved by the body’s own healing process, it becomes chronic pain.
You may have already learned the hard way that trying to manage pain can be exhausting, expensive, time consuming, and ineffective.
Yet, the common belief is that once discomfort and pain become part of your daily life, “managing” it is the only option.
A better solution is to look at the underlying causes of some of the warning signs mentioned previously; those pre-chronic pain signals that we shouldn’t ignore.
I will be looking at some of these causes in the next post in the Pain Series
How to Reduce Pain
If you’ve experienced a recent injury or trauma it’s wise to get it sorted out sooner rather than later. If your pain is already chronic don’t worry, it can still be addresssed.
You could choose acupuncture, physiotherapy, osteopathy, exercise therapy.
Obviously I would advocate for acupuncture for pain to support your natural healing process. It shouldn’t take many treatments at the acute stage, maybe more if it is already chronic.
How I Can Help
Most of my clients have unique circumstances and their own hurdles to overcome.
If you need support, solutions and encouragement, then check out these ways that will allow me to help your pain:
Get in touch with Eileen here, by phone, by email or by booking a free 15 minute phone consultation:
Call on 07773332553