Pain is a SYMPTOM
DISABILITY is a restriction of function
Pain and disability often go together but are not always the same.
The amount of disability is not always proportional to the severity of the pain.
“Pain can be defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.” (International Association for the Study of Pain)
REMEMBER! - Pain is whatever you say it is, existing whenever you say it does!
On going pain may be likened to an annoying tune playing all the time in your head!
The tune is in your brain telling you that you have pain, rather than the tissues that are injured.
This does not mean that it is all in your head but that the origins are very complex.
LEARN TO TURN THE VOLUME DOWN!
Pain receptors are present in most human tissue
There are 3 main types of nerve fibres
A Beta – non-painful stimuli
A Delta – painful fast
C – painful slow
Involves fast acting nerve fibres
Less than 3 months duration
Pain intensity increases as stimulus increases
Pain stops when stimulus stops
Severe, sudden, limiting and protecting
A symptom in response to an injury
Protects from further injury and allows healing to occur
Responds well to medication and pain relieving treatments
Primarily affects the individual
Involves the slow acting nerve fibres
More than 3 months in duration
Previous painful condition causes a hypersensitive state
Mild, normally painless stimuli cause pain
Painful stimuli cause excessive, prolonged pain
Pain is not due to pathology, but to de-conditioned tissues and different cell responses
Pain pathways remain open, cells become overactive and hypersensitive
Pain becomes a condition in its own right
Ill defined time of onset
Responds less well to medication and pain relieving treatments
Associated with emotional and psychological changes
Involves the individual but also the family, social network, friends and lifestyle
THE PAIN GATE THEORY
Imaginary gate to our consciousness
In chronic pain the gate remains open
The body can regulate the flow of pain
Stimuli can be suppressed
These stimuli can be suppressed from the outside or can descend from the brain
Pain can be modulated consciously by mental, emotional and sensory inputs
Pain can gain access over many things
It reduces concentration levels
Less severe pain can disappear when we focus on something else
HOW DO WE KEEP THE GATE OPEN?
Lack of movement, under activity
Focusing on the pain sensation
Drug dependency (e.g..painkillers)
Memory of past experiences
HOW DO WE CLOSE THE GATE?
Heat / ice
EXERCISE – PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF PAIN
Weight gain - Weight Lose
Decreased flexibility, general stiffness
Poor self image
Lack of confidence
WHY SHOULD WE EXERCISE?
Release of endorphins
Improved muscle strength
Improved self image
Increased energy levels
You will not cause further damage if you exercise in a sensible, controlled and paced way.
You will feel some stiffness when you first start to exercise!