CHRONIC PAIN MANAGEMENT & EDUCATION

Chronic Pain Management & Education

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Have you been in pain for months or years and can’t seem to make any improvement?

Does fear of movement and pain dominate your thoughts and influence what you can and can’t do?

Ever been told your pain isn’t real or it’s all in your head?

Your pain is real!

There’s nothing worse than someone who tells you how you feel when they’ve never been through something similar themselves.
You know and understand what your body is feeling better than anyone.

Help manage and improve your pain by utilising methods and techniques that work specifically for you. 
By sharing what did and didn’t work for me in all aspects of my pain journey, I may be able to fast track your improvement; therefore helping you save time, pain and money.

Because I’ve been through and am currently going through it, I can be empathetic towards your situation, whilst knowing that there’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Having completed formal study in this area, as well as the years of personal study regarding my own health, I’ve knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, as well as rehabilitative exercise and chronic pain and I may be able to help you with the best way to go about improving your pain, both physiologically or psychologically.

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However this has happened and wherever the pain currently is and originates from, I want to know about it, and I want to understand your story.
This is so I can help you to no longer go through what I went through and what you’re currently going through any longer.

I will listen to you and your story, assess your movement in relation to your history and see what is and isn’t doing its job.
Once I’ve gathered all this information, which can include reports, scans and tests you’ve provided me with, I can come up with a clear plan and program to help calm your nervous system and restore normal function whilst building tissue resilience (rather than aiming for perfect posture).

This will help you to tolerate load through your tissues, help you move more efficiently, and help you to no longer fear movement and be in constant pain.
People are complex and so is the human body. Especially the nervous system.
But the good news is that both are incredibly robust, adaptable and respond well when given the chance in the right environment.

Re-engaging in the fun activities that give you enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in life is an important step towards your recovery.
Whether you’re currently going through it, or you’d like to prevent it from ever happening in the future, I want to help you get back to living a happy and healthy life by achieving your pain reduction, health, performance and wellbeing goals.

I will not give up on you!

 

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For anyone in chronic pain, I’ve found that the most important things to remember are that;

The pain will ALWAYS subside at some point during a flare up.

This is far easier said than done, especially when flare ups can last for long periods of time, but try to pay attention to your pain with curiosity and without judgement.
Learning from this horrible experience is the best way to understand these flare ups and what triggers them.

There will ALWAYS be something that you haven’t tried.

Whether it be a different type of therapy, surgery, exercise, medication or literally anything you can think of, there will always be something else with the potential to help.

PACING & GRADED EXPOSURE are the keys to long term improvement.

The pacing of recovery is, to me, the most important step in getting back to your normal self.
Through pacing and graded exposure, we can gradually improve your tolerance to the activities and stressors in your everyday life while limiting flare ups and setbacks. ( Some Health Conditions are an exception to this rule, including; Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, otherwise known as ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.)

NEVER GIVE UP!

I know, this tired cliche again.
You may be sick of hearing it, seeing it and thinking it, but know that;
Even though sometimes it may feel like you’re stagnating, going backwards or that the pain is becoming worse, the reasons above are why I haven’t, and why you shouldn’t ever give up.
Through the power of neuroplasticity, you are ALWAYS capable of improving your pain levels and you are ALWAYS capable of change.

If you’d like to know more about the injury, progression of pain, my journey or anything chronic pain related, feel free to contact me.

WORKPLACE HEALTH
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Pain Description

Pain is said to be chronic if it persists beyond the normal healing time of your injury or trauma.
This is dependent on severity and re-injury, but is typically considered to be around three months.
‘Chronic’ simply means ongoing and doesn’t tell us much about the severity or quality of the pain.
Sometimes it’s not possible for doctors, specialists and health professionals to pinpoint the cause of the pain, and it can be incredibly frustrating for the sufferer not having a diagnosis.

Chronic pain is complex because it heavily involves the nerves and nervous system, including the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord.
Chronic pain occurs because a disruption to this system occurs, usually through an injury or trauma, and keeps the nerves firing and signalling pain.
It can be intense and unrelenting, and lead to various degrees of disability if it is not managed well.
This can then lead to a vicious pain cycle as your body continues to get better at reading pain signals.

Chronic pain is a condition in its own right because the changes in the nervous system are usually unrelated to the original diagnosis or injury, if there even was one.
However, there are likely to be other precipitating factors with chronic pain, including;
genetics, gender and previous episodes of acute pain.
Medical scientists are actually able to map pain centres in the brain by utilising brain imaging technology such as MRIs, bringing hope to millions around the world who have not had their pain properly believed, assessed or treated in the past.

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THE SYMPTOMS
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Chronic neuropathic, muscular and arthritic pain can cause symptoms such as;
Burning, stinging, tingling, pinching, numbness, dull or sharp aching, fatigue, sleeping problems, loss of strength, endurance, flexibility and mobility.
This can then lead to depression, anxiety and of course the dreaded flare up.

Chronic pain can lead to a multitude of other health problems and issues due to the enormous effect it has on a person’s everyday life and activity levels.
It has the ability to affect all aspects of your life, including your social, personal and professional life.

I know first-hand how it can drain you of your energy and ability to seemingly complete the smallest of tasks, due to the constant, unrelenting pain.
Sometimes it feels like everything you do flares it up.

WANTING TO RETURN TO WORK?

I can provide correctly paced manual handling and movement education, pain education and self-management strategies to help you continue your work and career.

Can’t make it in?

Travelling to all my appointments was a real nuisance and would usually exacerbate my pain.
This seemed counterproductive to what I was trying to achieve.
I would’ve loved to have had the option for my health professionals to come to me.
Therefore, I have decided to offer a mobile service to people with Chronic Pain, Illnesses & Disabilities.

Whether you’d prefer all, or just the occasional session to be brought to you or completed via zoom consultation, just knowing you have this option could be incredibly beneficial if you’re not feeling up to it, or are experiencing a flare up.

Chronic Pain Management

Strategies for improving outcomes in people with chronic pain have shifted, and now focus more on the pain itself as opposed to where the pain originates from.

The injury, incident and/or trauma you’ve sustained will have likely made your movement dysfunctional over time as your body overcompensates for the pain you’re feeling by changing your movement patterns in an attempt to guard you from the pain.
 The longer this continues the more vicious this cycle of entrenchment becomes.
This makes you more and more sensitive to pain, regardless of the stimuli.
Working together I’d like to help you break this cycle.

Through both this cycle and the muscle guarding process, your tissues will have likely become deconditioned and therefore gradually need to be reconditioned.
You’ll develop new neural pathways by improving your technique and by having more effective patterns of movement.
This will give you a greater sense of awareness and control over your condition.

 

Neural sensitivity

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Pain usually won’t have a chance to resolve until you re-engage in movement and functional activities.

When you’re in chronic pain, everything can seemingly have the ability to exacerbate your pain.
So finding activities that can actually calm down your overly sensitive nervous system are extremely important and beneficial, but can usually prove quite difficult.

Fortunately there are activities that have the ability to help people both short and long term, but finding the right ones for you is what’s most important, and helping you find them is what we’ll strive to achieve.

Some activities that can be used to calm the nervous system include;

  • Diaphragmatic breathing (used to calm the nervous system and promote sleep).
  •  Neurodynamic self-mobilisation (cat-camel) used to address neural sensitivity.
  •  Aerobic exercise to help manage stress, build endurance, aid sleep and increase self-efficacy.

I completely understand what it’s like to be fearful of moving and anything that exacerbates your pain. Gradual increases in the engagement of meaningful activities are an important step in moving forward.
These steps take time, and a progressive, sequential approach that requires patience, tenacity and persistence.
Eliminating the pain in its entirety is usually an unrealistic outcome, but with these steps, you give yourself the best possible chance.

Improvement, no matter how small, is still improvement, and improving is the key to successful progression on your pain journey.
This will give you the confidence to explore new and different movements and activities.

Reducing your level of pain will not only allow you to participate in these activities, but participating in these activities can ironically further reduce your level of pain.
This positive cycle is the exact opposite of the vicious pain cycle that has made your pain chronic in the first place.

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Headspace/Mindfulness – www.headspace.com – Research reviewing studies examining the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on pain intensity found significantly decreased pain intensity in 62.5 percent of the included studies.
Several meta-analyses assessing the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for patients with chronic pain have been conducted, finding a positive impact on perceived pain control, improved physical functioning as well as improvements in depression, physical-health and mental-health related quality of life.

With chronic pain I find it can help to move and train the parts of your body that aren’t in pain.
This can help stabilise the injured site by stabilising everything around it.

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PAIN EDUCATION
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(The brain’s involvement in chronic pain, relaxation and pain inputs)

Central Nervous System Sensitivity vs Structural Injury

Did you know that the pain you’re feeling is not usually reflective of the damage sustained through your initial injury or trauma?

Pain doesn’t equal the degree of tissue damage and imaging doesn’t always tell the full story.

Pain is a protection from a danger or threat, and the brain determines the need for pain based on these danger signals and uses this system in an attempt to protect you.
Central sensitisation can happen when your nervous system becomes overly sensitive to pain signals.
The more pain signals your neurones receive, the better your body gets at reading them, and thus snowballs in the wrong direction.
Your nervous system can then become entrenched in this pattern of continuous pain.
Emotion, cognition and diet can further influence your pain state.

Reconceptualisation of your pain through pain education has been found quite effective in chronic pain patients.
Understanding the reasoning behind why you’re feeling the way you do can give you a greater sense of control over your pain and help you to develop both physical and psychological strategies to help combat and improve your pain.

Exercise can also help to reset this pain signal when your tissues have had time to heal, but are still being protected or guarded by your body.
Through neuroplasticity we know that this system is forever adaptable and capable of change.
An important step in your recovery is to understand that even with some pain, these exercises and activities are safe and will not cause more damage to your tissues.

Tip

Keeping a pain diary may become counterintuitive if you’re not using it in an attempt to find out what does and doesn’t trigger your pain over time.

Benefits

The potential benefits of these activities and exercises are almost endless, but along with the benefits listed in your Added Value and Initial Consultations, some additional benefits include;
  • Reducing your fear of movement and level of pain
  • Improvements in your pain symptoms and quality of life
  • Improvements in strength, endurance, mobility, flexibility, stability and neuromuscular coordination
  • Improved pain control and management of your pain
  • Better weight management
  • Increased stamina and energy levels
  • Make sense of and reconceptualise your pain
  • Elevated endorphin levels improving mood and mental health
  • Improved self-belief & self-esteem
  • Increased concentration and productivity
  • Reductions in stress, anxiety and depression associated with chronic pain
  • Relaxation, Acceptance & Mental Flexibility
  • Accomplish daily living tasks with greater ease
  • Regaining control over your life
  • Preventing and controlling other chronic conditions
  • Boosting metabolism
  • Improved flexibility and balance
  • Reduced cognitive decline in older people
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Improved posture
  • Increased bone density reducing the risk of osteoporosis
  • Improved sleep
  • Strengthening your heart
  • Slowed cellular ageing, helping you to live longer
  • Increased muscle mass and reduced body fat
  • Increased tendon and ligament strength and resiliency

This is a multi-faceted approach in an enjoyable, supportive environment to drastically improve the chances of success.

You will enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re in safe, capable hands.

Recovery & Rehabilitation (The Multidisciplinary Approach)

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You can’t rely on one thing.

Regardless of where you feel the pain, or where it originated from, there’s no one fix for chronic pain.

The evidence is overwhelming to indicate that a multidisciplinary approach to treatment yields the best outcomes for patients.
With this in mind I place great importance on communication between you, I and all of the health professionals involved in your recovery process.

Have clearance from your Doctor/AHP to start an exercise program?

I can work in conjunction with your current GP, AHP, Specialist, Sports Coaches, Trainers and/or health team.
This can include your physiotherapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, dietitian, nurse, exercise physiologist, occupational therapist, podiatrist, chiropractor, carer, masseuse, teacher, boss or anyone else you deem relevant.

Alternatively, I can help build a team around you dedicated to your health, performance and wellbeing.
Here we can take your personal ideas into consideration and come up with a plan or program moving forward that’s completely individualised to you.
If for any reason I’m not able to help you, I’ll refer you on to someone who can.

Feel free to send through any radiology reports and imaging (X-rays, MRIs), AHP, GP or specialist reports, any posture or gait analysis previously performed and any additional information or notes that may assist.

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Groups & Support

As I’m just starting my business, I will have to wait until I have the numbers to start group classes for people in Chronic Pain.

I would like to offer the option for people in any type of chronic pain or with any type of chronic health condition to train in a group setting.
I would also love to start a Chronic Pain Support Group and Community in person on the Sunshine Coast and online for anyone outside the area or unable to attend in person.

I feel the social support these groups could provide would be of great significance and importance to those in constant pain.

So, if you or anyone you know has any interest in being a part of either group, please get in contact through your preferred method or the contact tab on the menu.

You are absolutely free to bring someone along for support during your sessions.

It helps having a strong support network, including someone that can understand what you’re going through.
Getting someone to believe and understand the complexity of your pain and how it affects you can be incredibly difficult if they don’t have any personal experience with Chronic Pain.
So sometimes it helps to get a family member or friend to try and understand what you’re going through.
With this in mind, I’m happy to facilitate this process by including another person of your choosing and talking through it with you both.

For anyone experiencing any type of chronic pain, recovering from injury, going through rehabilitation or going through something similar.
Just remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
But know that you’ve got to speak up if you want anybody to be able to help you.
You may find people are more interested and supportive than you think.
If not, that’s okay. Find the people and professionals who are.

If you or anyone you know is going through something even remotely similar, please don’t hesitate to contact me through any means, or feel free to give them my information.
I’m glad to talk it over with anyone, anytime, and I’m sure I’ll be able to assist in some way.

©2020 by Perspective Training.