Chronic Pain – Part 2
Treating chronic pain from a physiotherapy perspective involves the use of various treatment strategies
- Strengthening the body
Today, we are discussing Pacing. Pacing is controlling the amount of activity that you do in a day, and over a longer time frame, such as a week, so that your activity is manageable, achievable and under the threshold of your maximum tolerance in order to prevent flare-ups of your pain. Firstly, together we work out what are your daily tasks, and what you are currently able to complete in a day. This takes some trial over a week noting what you need to do each day and how you are feeling after these tasks. Next, we look at what you would like to be achieving in the day and over a week – your goals. These are set with guidance from your physiotherapist and will include activities or daily living (ADLs), daily chores, work activities, family activities and fitness/exercise activities. Next, we make a plan on how we are going to get you from your current level to your goal level of activity. Finally, we support you to achieve your goals. This process is a very gradual increase in your level of activities over time so that you are gradually pushing out your limits and achieving more, without aggravating your pain.
There are some classic traps that people suffering from chronic pain often fall into when it comes to activities. People often start to avoid all the activities that they think might make them worse. This leads to fear avoidance behaviour, and gradually you will achieve less and less, your quality of life will decline, you will become less tolerant of activity, deconditioned and weak, and ultimately you become extremely limited. The other trap is the good day- bad day scenario. That is, you have a rest day, and so the next day you feel great, so then you do all the things that day and push yourself too far, resulting in a flare-up and so the next day you rest and do very little, and the cycle continues. Both of these situations are very limiting and make it difficult to partake in a normal lifestyle. Neither of these situations will help you to manage your chronic pain.
Watch Shelley explaining Pacing in this video.
So if you feel as though this taping could help you out or you would like us to assess your chronic pain then come on down so we can assist you and guide you with your self-management at Lakelands and Miami Physiotherapy.
Miami Ph: 9534 4111
Lakelands Ph: 9542 9999