Understanding Pain

There has been a huge amount of research in recent times into understanding pain and this has led to great progress into changing our beliefs about pain and therefore changing our techniques in managing and treating pain.

For example, did you know there is no good link between posture and pain? For the large majority of injuries complete rest is NOT recommended? Tendon injuries largely don’t have inflammatory cells (therefore anti-inflammatories don’t work!). And that the largest percentage of abnormal findings found on scans, such as disc bulges, are most often normal changes which do not cause symptoms!

Another really important point to know is that simply by understanding pain a little better and changing some incorrect beliefs about your pain, you can significantly reduce your pain and improve your quality of life! So let the learning begin!
Below is a selection of resources, videos, websites and content to help you better understand up to date information on pain and assisting you on your road to recovery.

Back pain

About Back Pain

  • Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Australia
  • Back pain is NOT closely linked to damage to structures.
  • 80% of pain free people have ‘disc degeneration’ and ‘abnormal’ findings on scans.
  • Back pain is usually linked to things such as: Stress, lack of sleep, low mood, inactivity, poor conditioning and overdoing it. Which increases sensitivity to the back.
  • Backs love movement! This provides nutrients, aids repair and strengthens.
  • A slowly progressed exercise program is superior to other interventions for the majority of back pain episodes.

WHAT CAN I DO NOW? (before seeing a physio)

Heat packs on your back will encourage blood flow, help relax muscle spasm and assist with pain relief.

  • Continue to gently keep things moving as much as you can tolerate. Short frequent movements such as side to side bending, backwards bending and rocking your bent knees from side to side whilst on your back, are nice gentle activities.
  • Avoid complete bedrest or prolonged sitting & driving.
  • Simple paracetamol or anti inflammatories can assist, check with your GP if you have any other conditions or medications.
  • Spend some quite time practicing relaxed slow breathing.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP?

  • Bodycare Physiotherapists are highly trained in assessing and managing patients with low back pain.
  • Every patient with low back pain has very different contributing factors to their pain and therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment approach.
  • Bodycare Physiotherapists will spend time to identify the individual factors linked to your pain and set a plan to help you return to the things you love.

Credit to BodyLogic Physiotherapy for contributions to material. For more information visit: https://bodylogic.physio/conditions-2/

Arthritis

About Arthritis:

  • Arthritis does not always lead to pain and disability.
  • Weight loss is especially important for managing arthritis – A 10% reduction in weight equals a 50% reduction in pain!
  • Movement and exercise to strengthen the muscles surrounding a joint reduces pain.
  • Arthritic joints should not be completely rested.
  • The amount of Arthritis on a scan is a poor predictor of pain levels.
  • Many factors contribute to the overall ‘volume’ of pain, a thorough assessment should be conducted to address what is influencing your pain.

WHAT CAN I DO NOW? (before seeing a physio)

  • Heat packs on your joints can assist with pain relief
  • Continue to gently keep things moving
  • Consider weight loss options such as pain free strength training, low impact activities such as swimming and cycling. As well as and addressing your diet.
  • Avoid complete rest

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP?

  • Bodycare Physiotherapists are highly trained in assessing and managing patients with arthritis.
  • Every patient with arthritis has different contributing factors to their pain and therefore management needs to be tailored to the individual.
  • Bodycare Physiotherapists will spend time to identify the individual factors linked to your pain and set a plan to help you return to the things you love.
  • Developing an exercise plan to strengthen the surrounding muscles will often be at the core of management along with treatments to offload the sensitive area.

Credit to BodyLogic Physiotherapy for contributions to material. For more information visit: https://bodylogic.physio/conditions-2/

 

Ankle sprain

About ankle sprains:

  • Ankle sprains are the most common sporting injury
  • The perception they are minor and don’t require management is a MYTH
  • 40% of individuals in the FIRST year after a sprain will develop chronic instability.
  • 80% of ankle arthritis is due to previous sprain.
  • Early movement is favoured over immobilisation for optimal ligament repair.

WHAT CAN I DO NOW? (before seeing a physio)

  • “P.O.L.I.C.E”: Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, and Elevation
  • Optimal loading = gentle pain free movement and weight bearing.
  • For a severe sprain use crutches to offload the ankle
  • Anti inflammatories early can help. Check with your GP if you have any other conditions or medications.
  • Gentle movement like ankle circles and movement up and down can be done immediately.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP?

  • Bodycare Physiotherapists are highly trained in managing ankle sprains and are up to date with the latest research on treatment strategies and healing physiology.
  • Your physiotherapist will determine the grade of sprain and potential for ongoing instability.
  • Treatment will depend on the timeframe, severity and individual patient goals.
  • This will generally progress from managing pain, swelling and improving movement, towards end stage return to sport rehab such as hopping, and changing direction.
Muscle strain (Ie. hamstring, calf, quads)

About a Muscle strain

  • A muscle strain (or tear) occurs when the demand on a muscle exceeds its capacity.
  • A strain is graded generally between Grade 1 – a stretch and micro tear of muscle fibres, up to a Grade 3 – a complete rupture of the muscle.
  • History of having a previous muscle strain increases the risk of future strains and therefore management should occur to reduce the likelihood of reinjury.
  • Strength training can significantly reduce injury risk; such as the Nordic hamstring exercise which has been shown to reduce hamstring re-injuries by 85%.

What can I do now? (before seeing a physio)

  • “P.O.L.I.C.E”: Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, and Elevation
  • Optimal loading = gentle pain free movement and weight bearing.
  • Gentle PAIN FREE stretching
  • Avoid heat, massage, or strenuous activity for 48-72 hours

What can we do to help?

  • Bodycare Physiotherapists are highly trained in managing muscle strains and are up to date with the latest research on treatment strategies and healing physiology.
  • Your physiotherapist will determine the grade of strain and biomechanical factors which most likely contributing to sustaining your injury.
  • Treatment will depend on the timeframe, severity and individual patient goals.
  • This will generally progress from managing pain, swelling and improving movement, towards end stage return to sport rehab such as sprinting, jumping and changing direction.
Incontinence

About incontinence:

  • Bladder leakage is NOT a symptom people have to put up with
  • Incontinence occurs in men, women and people of all ages
  • Drinking less fluid is NOT the answer to improving incontinence
  • Incontinence can be managed by seeing a specialist continence physiotherapist
  • An Australian study showed 83% of women with stress incontinence (leakage with cough, sneeze and exercise) were significantly improved in 1-5 treatments with a continence physiotherapist.
  • Pelvic floor exercises are often a key component to management

 What can I do now? (before seeing a continence physio)

  • Take note of frequency of toileting
  • Take note of certain triggers for your incontinence such as cough, sneeze, running, or particular times of urgency
  • Make a booking with Emma, you do not require a doctors referral to see a continence specialist physio

How can we help?

  • We are lucky to have Specialist Continence and Womens health Physiotherapist Emma Walls at Bodycare Physiotherapy
  • Emma is highly trained in providing evidence based and individualised management for incontinence
  • Emma will use a 1 hour assessment in order to fully assess the influencing factors and best treatment plan for you.
ACL injury

About ACL injuries:

  • 70-85% of ACL injuries are non contact injuries
  • Females have a much higher risk of ACL injuries
  • Not all ACL injuries require reconstruction surgery
  • Gold standard rehab and return to sport clearance is not based injury timeframe, instead is based on meeting testing criteria
  • You do not need to rest for 6 weeks following surgery to begin rehab.
  • Injury prevention programs significantly reduce ACL injury risk

What can I do now? (before seeing a physio)

  • Ice, Compression and Elevation
  • Continue gentle movement as tolerated
  • You do not require an MRI scan prior to attending physiotherapy
  • ACL injuries should be assessed early if possible

How can we help?

  • A thorough assessment is required to properly diagnose your knee injury
  • We can advise you regarding your various options for management and help make the best plan for your situation
  • If surgery is required we will communicate with your surgeon to ensure your management is specific to the type of surgery you have
  • We have the scope to progress you from initial care in hydrotherapy to end stage heavy strength training, agility and return to sport programs
  • We can perform return to sport testing to ensure you are ready to get back to the field.

Credit to BodyLogic Physiotherapy for contributions to material. For more information visit: https://bodylogic.physio/conditions-2/