At Evolve Manual Therapy, we understand the complexities of living life with chronic pain. Chronic pain is persistent pain which carries on for longer than 12 weeks, despite medication or treatment. It can be felt in nearly any part of your body and may be a constant, or an intermittent pain. Chronic pain disorders are the leading cause of disability and continue to increase in prevalence – it’s a growing health concern in our modern world.
Chronic pain and increased stress
Many of our Evolve patients have tried just about everything to help rid themselves of their chronic pain – multiple medical appointments to no avail, with little improvement to the frequency or severity of the pain. They’re really struggling to continue to enjoy normal life, within the confines of their illness. Evidence points to the fact that symptoms of chronic pain are heightened by our stress response and by feeling disconnected from society and those we love around us, which has of course been exacerbated throughout 2020.
Impact of disconnection and isolation on chronic pain
During the global pandemic, we know that there has been reduced access to treatment, which has meant that people have not been physically able to continue their chronic pain management routines. They’ve not been able to seek help to improve their symptoms from professionals, like our team at Evolve, but also from their nearest and dearest. We’ve also seen a significant impact on activity and movement due to people working from home, and spending increased time online, sitting down. Routines – heading to the local pool for a swim or walking the last block to work have been unable to be continued, meaning that normally active people are more sedentary, often causing chronic pain issues to flare up.
Factor contributing to chronic pain
Of course, it’s often a combination of factors which can exacerbate chronic pain. Changed lifestyle is clearly one, the other important element is the reduction in human touch. Central to the study of pain mechanisms, neurophysiological investigations have proven that touch increases humancommunication,bonding,andhealing. Thanks to neuroscientist, Edmund Rolls, we know that touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex which is linked to feelings of reward and compassion. Basic touch calms cardiovascular stress –it activates your body’s vagus nerve and even a simple touch can trigger a release of oxytocin (known as the love hormone). Science tells us time and time again that chronic pain can be helped by touch, why is why we see such great results with our clients at Evolve Manual Therapy.
CranioSacral Therapy – a gentle treatment for chronic pain
Derived from osteopathic manipulative treatment, CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, non-invasive treatment we practice here at Evolve. It holds a unique ability to normalise your sympathetic nervous system activity (something which is often increased in people with chronic pain) by supporting a shift to your parasympathetic nervous system. This part of the nervous system is responsible for rest and repair. Our practitioners use light touch to help release any blockages in your nervous system, and help to rebalance your body – often releasing years of tension or stress you didn’t even know was there, or connected to your chronic pain issue. It’s a treatment plan formulated to work with your body, not artificially against it. It’s a treatment brilliant for helping to reduce your chronic pain. If you’re struggling with chronic pain and aren’t sure where to turn to, give our friendly clinic a call to discuss how we can help you manage your underlying condition, and the symptoms surrounding it.