As PT’s we are frequently dealing with questions and managing injuries Client’s currently have and have had in the past. It is important that we know their injury information before training them. But when a Client is suffering from pain but there is no apparent injury, past or current, how does this happen and what can we suggest to help?
The answer to the question is a YES - Pain without injury does exist and it not an alien concept in the healthcare industry.
To help illustrate this, I have used a metaphor: Imagine you have a bell attached to a rope in the middle of a storm. The bell represents the level of pain; the rope is the injury and the storm is the factors that affect pain. In the case of PAIN WITHOUT INJURY, the storm can cause the bell to ring without the rope being pulled.
In real terms, we can say the storm represents stress levels, work load and life balance. These are factors that can cause pain in the body without there being any actual physical injury I.e. the STORM making the BELL ring.
Around 95% of pain and discomfort actually occurs from STRESS. The other 5% is either hereditary or stems from broken bones and fractures.
The most common occurrence of this is what I would classify as “lower back tenderness". I use the term tenderness as the word pain indicates trouble. When you hear the word pain, the brain sends signals to the muscles and nerves that say “stiffen up, we're in trouble here!”
The solution to eliminating the majority of this tenderness is to decrease stress levels and try to achieve more of a work life balance. The most common and very effective way to relieve stress; EXERCISE; MOVEMENT; ACTIVITY:
It pumps up your endorphins: Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.
It's ‘meditation in motion’: After exercising, you'll often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated only on your body's movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do.
It improves your mood: Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
Here at WIYWO this is what we promote; come and see us for some much needed stress and pain relief.