June 2022: On the Treatment Table

May 25 2022

A pain in the …? We’re here to help!

A recent BBC news story reported that in a study of 2000 people 1 in 4 were affected by chronic pain. Sadly, this supports the growing evidence on the prevalence of chronic pain, affecting up to 50% of the UK population. Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting for more than 3 months, it can be symptom of underlying disease such as endometriosis or cancer, we often encounter it in our clinics related to biomechanical conditions such as osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, pain can also be a primary condition with no easily identified cause, for example in patients with fibromyalgia or chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

At Action Potential, we often help patients presenting with pain that have had a recent traumatic strain injury/ strain, but probably just as many patients come with pain that they can’t attribute to a particular cause and may have suffered for many years. Not only is this frustrating for patients, but it’s also a conundrum in the medical community too. Especially as pain can be very resistant to treatment, ironically even painkillers. Therefore, this has caused a great deal of debate regarding diagnosis and suitable treatment, for example: a popular diagnosis commonly given nowadays for back pain is ‘non-specific back pain’. Now its quite reasonable of you to say that after many years of study and research, is that the best you can come up with and I tend to agree with you. It’s not the best thing to say to someone in severe pain after a thorough examination, sometimes with imaging too, that their pain is ‘non-specific’ as it sounds like a bit of a cop out. Whilst thorough investigations are there to test for certain diagnoses, they also help rule out serious pathology however there are still many other possibilities. The truth is this term is meant to refer to is the multifactorial nature of back pain i.e., being caused by a combination of mechanical and non-mechanical factors.

Therefore, treatment for pain can be complex and unfortunately there is rarely a ‘magic bullet’ to ‘cure’ the problem. There are recent NICE guidelines for chronic pain, low back pain and sciatica and osteoarthritis, they all recommend supportive care including advice, manual therapy, exercise to increase mobility and strength, as well as medication. However, these guidelines differ in their recommendations for medication, acupuncture and electrotherapy such as TENS.

Our philosophy is to offer a multidisciplinary approach to help our patients following the best evidence and guidelines available. That’s why we are a team of chiropractors, physiotherapists, sports massage therapists and foot health practitioners who work closely with the medical team at Kingswood Health Centre. Our team work together to help our patients improve their quality of life whether its to resolve their pain or manage it better.

As ever If you would like our help or need any further advice or treatment, then the team at Action Potential will be happy to help. You can call us on 0117 961 2060, find us on Facebook or email enquiries@actionpotential.org.uk to book. We provide chiropractic, physiotherapy, foot health treatments and Pilates at Kingswood Health Centre and Hengrove Park Leisure Centre.