Acupuncture is a form of treatment that promotes healing. It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body. It has been used for thousands of years in China and more recently since the 1970s in Western Medicine. The explanation of how acupuncture works varies between Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Western approach, but both support the use of acupuncture in pain relief.
PhysioFunction uses acupuncture to relieve pain for a number of conditions including:
- Back pain and sciatica
- Migraine and headache
- Muscular and joint pain
- Whiplash injury and neck pain
Physiotherapy and Sports/Exercise Therapy
Targeted exercises, stretching, and rehabilitation programs can help improve physical function, reduce stiffness, enhance overall mobility, and improve mood.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
The electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles. They may also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers.
Incorporating healthy lifestyle habits, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management, can contribute to overall well-being and potentially alleviate some aspects of chronic pain.
Understanding the challenges, impact and management options for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a pervasive and complex health issue that extends far beyond simple physical discomfort. It is characterised by persistent pain that lasts for an extended period, usually over 3 months. Chronic pain can stem from various conditions, injuries, or illnesses and profoundly affects the lives of those who experience it. Understanding the complexities of chronic pain, its impact on individuals, and effective management strategies is crucial for both healthcare professionals and those navigating the challenges of this persistent condition.
Unlike acute pain, which usually serves as a protective mechanism signalling immediate danger or injury, chronic pain persists long after the initial cause has been treated or healed. It can manifest in various forms, such as musculoskeletal pain, neuropathic pain, or visceral pain, and is often associated with conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or nerve damage. The subjective nature of pain makes it a uniquely individual experience, influenced not only by physical factors but also by psychological, social, and environmental elements.
Chronic pain can present a challenge in diagnosis and treatment due to its subjective nature and unlike conditions with visible symptoms, chronic pain relies heavily on self-reported experiences, making it difficult to objectively measure and assess. This subjectivity can lead to misinterpretation or disbelief, adding an emotional burden to those living with chronic pain.
The repercussions of chronic pain extend beyond the physical, affecting emotional well-being, social interactions, and overall quality of life. Persistent pain can contribute to conditions such as anxiety and depression, creating a cycle where emotional distress exacerbates physical symptoms, and vice versa. The constant struggle with pain often leads to sleep disturbances, fatigue, and a diminished capacity to engage in daily activities.
Other Management Approaches:
The management of chronic pain requires a multidisciplinary approach that acknowledges its diverse origins and the individual nature of the experience. Other components of effective chronic pain management include: