Why do people come and see a Physiotherapist? Typically it is because they are experiencing pain and want to be pain free. Therefore all a Physiotherapist needs to do is get rid of the thing that is causing the pain. Simple, right?

Wrong!

Pain is an extremely delicate, misunderstood, frustrating symptom. Everyone experiences pain on varying levels and it is extremely difficult to manage. Here are some very important concepts about pain that everyone should understand.

Pain is normal, personal and always real All pain experiences are normal and are an excellent, though unpleasant response to what your brain judges to be a threatening situation.

Pain and tissue damage rarely relate Pain is an unreliable indicator of the presence or extent of tissue damage.

Pain depend on the balance of danger and safety You will have pain when your brain concludes that there is more credible evidence of danger than safety related to your body and thus infers the need to protect.

Pain involved distributed brain activity There is no single ‘pain centre’ in the brain. Pain is a conscious experience that necessarily involves many brain areas across time.

Pain relies on context Pain can be influenced by things that you see, hear, smell, taste and touch, things you say, things you think and believe things you do, places you go, people in your life and things happening in your body.

Pain is one of many protective outputs When threatened the body is capable of activating multiple protective systems including immune, endocrine, motor, autonomic, respiratory, cognitive, emotional and pain. Any or all of these systems can become overprotective.

We are bioplastic While all protective systems can become turned up and edgy, the notion of bioplasticity suggests that they can change back, through the lifespan. It is biologically implausible to suggest that pain can’t change.

Learning about pain can help Learning about pain is therapy. When you understand why you hurt, you hurt less. If you have a pain problem, you are not alone.

Active treatment strategies promote recovery Once you understand pain, you can begin to make plans, explore different ways to move, improve your fitness, eat better, sleep better, and gradually do more.

If you are experiencing pain or would like to have a consultation with one of our Physiotherapists please make an appointment online at http://www.phase4performance.com.au or call us on 1300 898 414 and speak to one of our friendly administration team who can direct you to the appropriate clinician.

Simon Carlton | Performance Physiotherapist

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