Chronic Pain - The pressure cooker effect

Imagine the body being like a pressure cooker. Most of a lifetime it has been bubbling along with no major issues. A couple of things may have happened in the past but they have been coped with and moved on from. Maybe as a youngster a close family member died but everyone got over it and a short childhood hospital stay where parents were kept away doesn't seem all that significant now. Money has always been a bit tight but it is manageable. The baby is not sleeping well and caring for a relative with dementia is just what you do. It's just life...but then one day there is a pain in the low back, nothing significant happened, probably bending down to pick up more discarded clothes. However, the pain doesn't go away. Painkillers don't help and eventually worry sets in. How will life be manageable? Nothing shows on investigations but the pain is still there and it is affecting daily life. Will it be there forever? Nothing seems to help, exercise hurts, it is really tiring and difficult to make people understand. Lying awake at night doesn't help but sleep seems illusive. Physical therapy (massage, yoga, pilates, reflexology, acupuncture) hurts and doesn't seem to last for more than a few days. This feels like it is for ever...


All these things in isolation may not be significant but each one has an emotional component attached. Fear, anger and frustration. A lack of stability, lots of stoicism and despondency at the inability to change. If you add them all together and using our pressure cooker analogy you have now built up quite a head of steam that needs to escape. This pressure feels dangerous to the body and overwhelming so the body produces pain to slow you down and get you to listen. 


Your life story is important to your body and in most cases of chronic pain we have to tell some of that story to get the pain resolved. At Osteopathy For All we take a biopsychosocial or #MindBody approach to chronic pain. This means we consider everything that is happening to you now and everything that has happened in the past from both a physical and emotional point of view and use this information to develop a treatment plan to help you recover, not just manage, chronic pain. 


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