Welcome to the new world - Live, Move and Feel Amazing
Updated: Sep 30, 2018
Welcome to our blog! We’re very humbled and excited that you’ve chosen to connect with us.
Here’s what you can expect from us: Thought provoking, high quality and research backed information that helps you solve your health issues and live the best life you can.
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Our key area of focus at Proactive Physiotherapy is helping people overcome chronic pain. Unfortunately, over the years, messages have been mixed in the medical world, and this has led a lot of people to confusion, lots of pills, endless GP visits and not to mention, a world of hurt! We understand the how annoying and sometimes even depressing persistent pain can be. The good news is there have been large advancements in what we know about pain over the last 10-15 years (unfortunately it takes some time for the information to go from the labs to the public). Importantly, this information has led to new approaches to treatment of persistent pain problems (not just management!). This means there is a way to get better. The biggest change in philosophy is that a modern approach takes into account all aspects of your life - what they call the biopsychosocial approach.
Let me break bio-psycho-social down:
Bio = Biological factors (your genetics, biomechanics, tissue structure and function etc)
Psycho = Psychological factors (your personality, mood, behaviour and all the thoughts that go on deep in the grey matter)
Social = Social factors (your social circumstances including culture, family, socioeconomic background, expectations in general including that of medicine etc)
One of the most important things to know is that all of these factors interplay, or work in together. Especially so, if you have had pain for more than 3 months. It is rare (and I could jump out on a limb here and say never!) that one factor in total isolation causes ongoing pain (ie it’s not just your tight muscles). Importantly, no person's pain experience is the same and therefore the factors which influence one person’s pain may be totally different to the next person. Regardless of the factors that are at play, we know two things: Each factor can work against you and make your pain worse, but each factor can also work with you (with the help of a good therapist!) to make your pain get better and go away. This occurs through a fancy word they call bioplasticity. I like to keep things simple and think of it like this:
Your body adapts to the demands you place on it.
Most people can relate to this concept via general activity in life. If you gradually do more your body and muscles gets stronger; If you do less your body gets weaker.
The nitty gritty of chronic pain is a lot more complex than that and for people who have had significant pain they will likely need much more guidance to assist in their recovery. In the meantime, for people in pain or even for people just wanting to improve themselves, I provide you this:
Find a position or movement of safety/comfort. Start performing this and gradually increase the amount you are doing. Push yourself so that it is a challenge (ie you might feel a stretch or muscle working), but it doesn’t ‘flare’ or exacerbate your pain. Gradually increase this activity over time as your body allows, always aiming to do even the smallest bit more.
You are now using bioplasticity. This is the key to you getting (and feeling) better. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes this can be quite a simple and straightforward process and other times it can be very complex, and require a longer journey that takes more guidance. Most importantly though, there is definitely hope for every person who has chronic pain - no matter how bad it has been. Make sure you ask your therapist about how you can use a biopsychosocial approach to access your bodies bioplasticity and start getting better.
Key point summary:
Chronic pain can be treated, not just managed
A biopsychosocial approach is the best way to treat chronic pain
Using the bodies ability to adapt (bioplasticity) is how you get better
People who have a significant chronic pain history need to commit to a well developed plan and then show lots of patience and persistence in conjunction with guidance from a good therapist who is knowledgeable in pain
If you have any questions about your personal situation or someone else you know, feel free to contact us to see if we can help.
Until next blog, take care, keep moving and enjoy life :)