15 Dec 2021

Winter 2021 Balancing the pain factor

This edition includes six articles on the subject of pain that, between them, explore a range of specific pain presentations, as well as discussing how patients process their pain, and the tools physios can offer the individual towards self-management and rehabilitation.

Living well with fibromyalgia: a case study to explore person-centred management

Fibromyalgia is a debilitating, multifactorial condition that can be difficult to manage. The mechanisms and management of fibromyalgia are discussed through the use of a linked case study, with emphasis on improved physical activity levels. Pain and fatigue can decrease motivation and affect adherence to exercise, and emotional distress may act as a barrier to rehabilitation. A collaborative approach helps individuals build the strength to cope with the challenges of living with this complex and disabling chronic pain. This article discusses the safe and appropriate use of medication, together with techniques that enhance the therapeutic alliance to meet this challenging condition.

The missing pieces of the pain puzzle: a personal account about discovering the mind-body approach to resolving chronic pain and restoring wellbeing

Chronic pain therapy is often aimed at palliating local tissue symptoms or teaching patients pain coping strategies, rather than aspiring to resolve the pain. In contrast, the mind-body approach makes sense of “medically unexplained” symptoms and informs the clinician of treatment strategies aimed at addressing the root causes of pain; emotional repression and stress-induced dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). A mind-body diagnosis is good news for the chronic pain sufferer because this condition is benign, treatment strategies are self-empowering and full recovery is often possible. This holistic approach is supported by research and recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience, thereby adhering to our professional code of practising evidence-based treatment. It is exciting because neuroscience and psychology converge to create a universal explanation that can unlock the complex puzzle of chronic pain