Pain is a common condition with around one-third of Australians experiencing pain at any given time, and one in five reporting that their pain is constant. Incidences of pain are more likely as people get older.
What is acute pain?
• Acute pain is usually a result of an injury or illness causing some form of tissue damage or swelling.
• Acute pain is a really useful alarm system as the role of acute pain is to stop us doing things that cause, or might cause, damage to our bodies.
• Acute pain normally fades as the injury or damage heals and lasts for a few moments days or weeks
What is chronic pain?
• Chronic pain is pain that has been present for more than 3 months.
• It may be due to an ongoing condition or disease, e.g. arthritis or Lupus
• It can result from nerve damage
• It is an over-sensitive nervous system
Managing Chronic pain
• Chronic Pain is best managed when it is recognised, assessed and treated as early as possible
• A range of treatments and supports can help to address physical activity along with social, nutritional, psychological and environmental aspects of your pain
• Talk to your GP and discuss a plan to actively manage your pain, as pain management strategies can help to improve your quality of life, as well as reduce pain over time.
Myths about back pain
Myth 1: Moving will make my back pain worse
Fact: People fear twisting and bending but it’s essential to keep moving. Gradually increase how much you are doing and stay on the go.
Myth 2: I should avoid exercise, especially weight training
Fact: Back pain shouldn’t stop you enjoying exercise or regular activities. In fact studies found that continuing with these can help you get better sooner – including using weights where appropriate.
Myth 3: A scan will show me exactly what is wrong
Fact: Sometimes it will, but most often it won’t. Also, even people without back pain have changes in their spine so scans can cause fear that influences behavior, making the problem worse.
Myth 4: Pain equals damage
Fact: This was the established view but more recent research has changed our thinking. Modern physio takes a holistic approach that helps people understand why they are in pain.