Persistent Pain | Arthritis Aciton

Persistent Pain | Arthritis Aciton

February 14, 2020 0 By Jose Scott


Hello, my name is Heather Baumohl-Johnson, and I’m director of member services at Arthritis Action I’m also clinical hypnotherapist and I work regularly with people with pain. This is my colleague David Vaux David is Arthritis Action’s Therapies Manager and also a registered osteopath. David, Can you tell us who has pain? I think the thing to remember is that approximately one in five people in the Western world Experience persistent pain and often it’s of a unknown origin. So we just don’t know where it comes from The reason why I say that is that pain is there To help keep us safe On an evolutionary level to help us survive and avoid danger So pain can be Useful and also can be useless if we start to feel it in a more persistent way So what are the characteristics of pain? It’s very individual. It can be a short-term or long-term persistent type experience of pain As I said earlier, it’s primarily involved in keeping us safe. Unless it goes on for too long so you might have a short-term injury which Normally would be done and dusted in you know, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, if that goes on for too long, then it becomes Unhelpful and then you start becoming Attuned to feeling that pain even in the absence of a biological tissue injury, you might still feel that So pain also has an emotional component And I would set a barometer of that individuals level of health happiness Satisfaction with life at that point so irrespective of the cause of pain Pain is always real so even if you have a historical injury In say for instance your foot and that’s now completely healed in the tissues You may still feel pain and you’re feeling it in your brain. I think this is a good example of that skill that I was alluding to that you don’t want to you can become very attuned Very skilful of feeling that pain your foot in the absence of a foot injury anymore But it’s still real pain because in your nervous system And that’s very important to try explain to people that we feel pain in our nervous systems not in our exterior bodies What we also find with pain is it varies greatly between different nationalities, age groups different locations and we feel it’s to do with that area or that that group identifying with a certain level of of threatened fear and that can often be caught up in the language and the terms that we use Can you give us examples of common terms used to describe pain? So one of the classic ones in arthritis is wear and tear That in itself as a phrase has now being moved to be called wear and repair because it’s not quite as scary Slipped disc is another one that we use in clinic And it just sounds like something that Sounds that the way they’re describing is a disc has come out completely if you walk into a clinician’s office You often see an anatomical model where the disc is actually out and you can touch the disc and laying on the side but it also gives the impression that’s possible, but it’s not so You know our body language as clinicians our language as you know Just friends and family or professionals involved in pain has to be very careful because if you increase someone’s level of fear You will increase the level of pain as well Degeneration is another one that is commonly thrown around which is just a horrible term My personal favorite that we often use is phantom limb pain I mean, I don’t think I can think of anything more scary than say phantom pain but also it kind of devalues that person’s experience because you’re almost Dismissing it so it’s not there anymore like we were saying have you been told it’s in your head? What are some of the ways to fight pain? I mean that is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? I think first and foremost We need to help people understand pain And hopefully understand their own journey with that pain and understand that Pain isn’t always a sign that more damage being done Pain is real but it’s not always a sign that you’re damaging yourself further or that you are deteriorating So we have to educate someone To understand about the process that they’re currently feeling We have to try and empower them through the education to understand that there are things that can be done In regards to pain you don’t have to withdraw from life. You can through certain strategies Improve your experience and increase your activities of daily life around the home and outside and through social activity One of the most modifiable things we can do if we are focusing on things like arthritis is modifying healthy weight. via things like activity and healthy eating habits Improving muscle function has been shown in all the evidence there is overwhelming evidence Improving muscle strength around an affected joint will decrease that pain. What we also know on the converse side of that is that Becoming less active and wasting that muscle will lead to more pain So there is a direct relationship either in one direction or the other This is something you probably know about and Practice yourself in clinic is you know relaxation techniques, you know mindfulness helps with levels of pain. The less anxious individual is a less pain they will feel And it doesn’t really matter what it is. If makes you feel more relaxed and less anxious just do it So try, and find something you’re not doing, try it. If makes you feel more relaxed in any way keep with it. Basically anything that makes you happy Is the take-home message You