No pain, no gain
After 25 years of practicing as an Osteopath, I am often amused by how frequently my patients make reference to the expression ‘no pain, no gain’. Indeed I sometimes use it myself in the context of explaining how much input is required, by both myself and the patient, to reduce pain that has been left to become chronic and persistent.
Chronic / Persistent pain
For most people, back pain goes away by itself, but for more than 2 million people, in the UK each year, it progresses into chronic / persistent pain. So why is that? The first mistake that can be made is in not seeking help and advice early enough. That can result in the pain becoming more frequent and severe over time.
Seeking early help generally means that the problem is less complicated / widespread and responds more quickly to treatment. As a rule of thumb, we say that the longer you have had a problem, the longer it takes to resolve – so early intervention normally results in less suffering, both physically and financially!
The second mistake is in confusing being symptom free with being problem free. It is not uncommon for patients to attend a follow-up appointment with me, reporting that they are symptom free, only to discover that they and I can clearly still feel that the issue is not fully resolved. So finishing a course of treatment for pain is important, just like completing a course of antibiotics is for an infection.
Not just a quick fix
Consequently for people that have developed persistent pain, it is seldom just a quick fix.
The best advice I can give is to be pro-active and seek the help and advice from an expert in musculoskeletal health, such as an Osteopath. Many problems are multi-factorial and it is important that you understand why you have the problem.
Treatment from an Osteopath can help get you back on track, but to achieve a healthy musculoskeletal system you need to also be pro-active in following prescribed exercises to improve long-term stability, strength and co-ordination.
For some people, there is an underlying issue that is not curable and this can require periodic ongoing management from an Osteopath as well as yourself.
So why not address your pain now and avoid becoming a chronic pain sufferer.