What is Chronic pain and how should we be managing it?

Chronic pain is more common in today’s society than you may think with the N.I.C.E. stating approximately 23% of the UK’s population experiencing chronic pain at some point or for a significant amount of time within their life.

We at Anglia Chiropractic Healthcare believe that everyone suffering with pain deserves an honest evaluation and care plan so they can learn to manage their pain, start to feel better and get their lifestyle back. 

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is simply characterised by persistent or recurring discomfort or pain that lasts longer than the expected timeframe for tissue or acute injury healing. It can arise at any point in someone’s life and from a multitude of reasons, including sudden injury, medical conditions, diseases, or nerve damage. Unlike acute pain, which typically reduces as healing occurs, chronic pain persists for an extended duration of time, often lasting for months or years.

​​This type of chronic, long lasting pain can vary widely in its intensity, frequency and location, affecting different parts of the body and presenting in various forms such as neuropathic pain, musculoskeletal pain, or visceral pain. Not all chronic pain is debilitating and many with it continue with their active lifestyles. This means that every case of pain should be assessed and treated individually. 

World Health Organisation Updated Guidelines

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released guidelines addressing the management of chronic low back pain, which we would feel can be utilised in management of all chronic pain. These updated guidelines emphasise the importance of non-pharmacological treatments as the first point of action for chronic low back pain, discouraging the routine use of certain medications and treatments. 

Specifically, the guidelines advise against the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and ultrasound treatments, opioid analgesics, local injections, muscle relaxants and antidepressants in the treatment of chronic low back pain. 

Instead, they recommend non-pharmacological approaches such as exercise, manual therapy and psychological interventions as primary strategies for managing chronic low back pain. These guidelines aim to promote safer and more effective treatment options for those experiencing pain while reducing the reliance on medications. We at Anglia Chiropractic believe that these guidelines  should be at the forefront of our industry for approaching all chronic pain, meaning, whatever pain you’re experiencing, you can feel better and get your lifestyle back through a holistic and maintainable approach. 

Chronic Pain Management Techniques

When managing chronic pain, we approach each patient with a bespoke care plan, never giving a blanket one-size-fits-all approach. Through our years of combined experience within the clinic, we have practiced many techniques, which when combined together, can offer relief to patients. 

Hands-On Therapy

Hands-on therapy plays a key role in the management of chronic pain, as it offers targeted movements and manipulations to help discomfort and improve the physical function of the painful area. Techniques such as classic spinal manipulation and mobilisation combined with myofascial release massage are most commonly used to address many musculoskeletal issues contributing to chronic pain. 

Out of these techniques, our diversified spinal manipulation stands out as our most specialised technique aimed at restoring proper alignment and mobility of the spine. Administered by one of our skilled chiropractors, the diversified technique involves precise adjustments to spinal joints, relieving pressure on nerves and reducing pain. This hands-on approach not only often provides immediate pain relief but also contributes to long-term improvements in spinal health and bodily functions.

Bio-Psycho-Social Model 

The bio-psycho-social model of pain management is a more delicate matter than our other techniques. This model recognises that pain can be influenced by biological, psychological and social factors, highlighting the real need for a fully comprehensive approach to care. 

When looking into the biological aspect, we can start to focus on identifying and treating underlying physical conditions which may be contributing to your pain. Whereas psychological interventions, such as relaxation techniques, can also help manage stress, anxiety, and depression which can contribute to increased pain perception and make dealing with restrictions of pain more difficult. 

Finally, social factors, including family dynamics, work environment, and social support networks are also considered when developing our personalised treatment plans. By addressing the connection of all of these factors, the bio-psycho-social model aims to improve pain outcomes and enhance overall well-being.

Ergonomic Advice

Ergonomic advice can play an additional important role in preventing and managing chronic pain, particularly in occupational settings. By educating our patients about proper body mechanics, posture and workstation setup, we can help reduce additional strain on muscles and joints, minimising the risk of further pain and injury. 

In cases where ergonomic issues persist or are more complex, a referral for full ergonomic assessments may be advised. These assessments involve a thorough evaluation of the work environment and ergonomic factors by trained professionals, leading to personalised recommendations to optimise workplace ergonomics and reduce potential sources of pain and discomfort.

Advanced K-Laser Medical Therapy 

Being very experienced and the premier clinic in East Anglia to use this advanced therapy, we can offer our patients this innovative option for the management of their chronic pain. By using K-Laser therapy, we can utilise its low-level laser technology to penetrate tissues and stimulate faster cellular repair processes. 

By promoting this blood flow, reducing inflammation  and regulating pain signals, we can help alleviate pain, muscle spasms, and stiffness faster than just manipulation alone. Integrating K-Laser therapy into our comprehensive treatment plans enhances outcomes and accelerates the healing process, allowing patients to gain more function and improve their quality of life.

Understanding Your Pain

Finally, understanding your pain is the final piece of the puzzle to managing chronic pain effectively. By running through our in-depth consultation and report of findings, you will be provided with information about the nature of your pain, contributing factors and bespoke treatment options. These can include strategies for self-care, such as pacing activities, practising relaxation techniques and incorporating regular exercise into your routine. 

Understanding the role of psychological and physical pain together can help to develop management strategies and pain resilience. By taking on this knowledge and understanding your pain, you can take an active role in pain management and improve your quality of life.

Quality Chiropractic Care

At Anglia Chiropractic, we truly embrace the differences of each individual’s pain, especially when it comes to long term chronic pain and lifestyle improvements. Recognising that everyone’s pain demands tailored solutions, we go beyond the one-size-fits-all approach, ensuring that our care precisely addresses the unique needs of each patient. 

If you’ve been experiencing pain for a long period of time, please reach out and book in for an initial consultation and report of findings via our contact form, or give us a call on 01603 414740 if you have any questions. 

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Emergency Appointments

We occasionally have ‘same day’ appointments available in cases of rescheduled patients, please call us to check.

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Cancellation & Rescheduling Appointments

We appreciate as much notice as possible if you need to change or cancel your appointment so that we can offer it to someone else.

Appointments cancelled or re-scheduled within a 24 hour period will be charged at the full amount.

We have chosen to strictly enforce this cancellation policy to keep our costs as low as possible in view of increasing running costs. Please note, we are here for you.