It is generally believed that when our body hurts we have the tendency of staying still and avoid any painful movements to avoid worsen the symptoms. This can be useful only after an acute injury so that our body can heal the damaged tissue. However, excessive rest can have an adverse effect and make things worse in patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
Not only because the body suffer from the effects of a de-conditioning process, but also because some people may become scared of moving and loose the awareness of the motion of the affected area. So consequently we move less, get stiffer, our muscle weakens and we have secondary pain due to inactivity.
In addition, it has been shown that pain related fear has an important role in the transition from an acute injury to chronic pain in low back patients. Some patients perceive movements or stimulus as a threat, increasing the stress/anxiety towards specific activity and as a result, creating a fear avoidance behavior which leads to further disuse of the body and long term disability.
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Furthermore, the pain experience can be influenced by stress, excessive attention to pain and unhelpful believes. Consequently, the pain of that initial injury has become bigger and bigger due to other factors even though the healing time of the injury has been already finished.
So how can we breakdown this vicious loop? A good start is moving, recovering that lost awareness of your body and re-learning how to move adequately, improving the confidence during activities, breaking down the pain-movement association in our brain and decreasing that perceived threat.
You may think “but how if it’s hurting?” The answer is pacing, little by little with the help of health professionals to support you and re-assure you through this process. You cannot win a marathon if you didn’t train it before, so after prolonged inactivity due to pain is similar, it is important to build up the strength and movement little by little, to promote the tissue adapt to the new activity, settling goals to finish your own race to get out of such loop.
At the Body Refinery you can find physiotherapist Brisbane to help manage your discomfort and start getting active in a safe way, helping you to start decreasing the threat of movement with progressive exercises, safe environment and reassurance to recovering progressively the normal motion of your body.
The Body Refinery has two practices in Brisbane, providing a unique environment which merges the disciplines of physiotherapy, PD warrior and other strength and conditioning activities to optimize movement for a healthy, fit and fulfilling life.
The experts at the Body Refinery a Pilates studio centre can help improve your general health and fitness, assist with rehabilitation from an injury or illness, and enhance their patients’ sporting performances.