We work with you and your Psychologist to treat Chronic Pain
What does Physio do to treat chronic pain?
Physiotherapy starts with a comprehensive assessment to understand what is contributing to the problem. Often this is a combination of physical deconditioning, psychological factors, medical factors, and medicines you are taking.
Once all of these contributions are understood, we have to understand what is important to you as a person. Once we know what you prioritise, an evidence-based plan is made which specifically addresses each of these contributions. Often this can include; an explanation to help you make sense of your pain, a structured exercise program and pacing strategies to help get you back to work and other valued activities, a management plan for the flare-ups that can occur, and sometimes clinical massage or mobilisation of joints is also required.
What barriers do you see to people improving? (leading here to psych issues and discussion of body/mind connection in pain) We commonly notice with chronic pain that stress, moods such as anxiety and depression, and traumatic experiences, can sensitise the nervous system and often heighten the pain response. These factors may be harming your relationships with friends and loved ones and can leave you with little energy to recover and complete your exercises.
While we recognise the importance of an active rehabilitation (and this in turn can reduce stress, and improve mood), we also recognise that there is a strong mind/body connection which cannot be ignored. Oftentimes, having input from a psychologist can be an essential part of getting better and back to your valued activities!
How can physio and psych work together to help someone with chronic pain?
Yes! Your physiotherapist and psychologist can communicate together to form an effective plan to help you.