Physiotherapy & the multi-disciplinary pain management team
Chronic pain is an unfortunate fact of life for many people. There are a huge variety of chronic pain causes from arthritis, trauma, surgery, medical conditions, stroke and inflammatory diseases.
Despite major improvements in pain management, some people develop a chronic pain state where they experience symptoms which are unlikely to be cured. In these cases the clinical management is to:
This is to prevent progressive deterioration and avoid the complications of inactivity. This can sound confusing because it is natural to assume that if we have pain then doing activity and moving will make it worse. Frequently chronic pain does not behave like this and therefore should not be a reason not to do anything.
This is easy for someone not in pain to suggest but it is an entirely different proposition for patient’s. Breaking the link between fear of movement, expectation of pain and continuing with activities of daily living often requires behavioural modification therapy.
Chronic pain not easy to come to terms with and clinicians who are involved in dealing with chronic pain need to have experience in how to manage these situations to communicate effectively with the patient and to provide credible advice and guidance, to act as a motivator to improve function within limits and to recognise boundaries /limitations .