Pain, at a physiological level, is stimulation of sensitive nerve endings (nociceptive) either by chemical or mechanical means. This commonly occurs through injury and its purpose is to inform us of tissue damage.
The causes of musculoskeletal pain are varied. Muscle tissue can be damaged with the wear and tear of daily activities. Trauma to an area (jerking movements, accidents, falls, fractures, sprains, dislocations, and direct blows to the muscle) also can cause musculoskeletal pain. Other causes of pain include postural strain, repetitive movements, overuse, and prolonged immobilisation. Changes in posture or poor body mechanics may bring about spinal alignment problems and muscle shortening, therefore causing other muscles to be misused and become painful.
Types of Pain
Acute Pain is defined as pain lasting less than 3 to 6 months, or pain that is directly related to tissue damage.
Chronic Pain there are at least two different types of chronic pain problems – chronic pain due to an identifiable pain generator (e.g. an injury), and chronic pain with no identifiable pain generator (e.g. the injury has healed).
Referred Pain is pain perceived at a location other than the site of the painful stimulus/ origin.
How is musculoskeletal pain treated?
Musculoskeletal pain is best treated by addressing the cause. This will vary depending on whether you are experiencing bone, muscle, ligament, tendon, or joint pain, or some other kind of musculoskeletal pain.
Where Osteopathy may help
Education about the pain processes
Using heat or cold
Mobilisation, trigger point therapy
Advice and education about how and which exercises can help
Strengthening and conditioning exercises
Graded exercise programs – slowly increase exercise tolerance
Pain coping strategies so that you have effective tools to manage episodes of pain
Re-education of normal posture and movement patterns
Addressing ergonomic factors in the work place
Address movement behaviours that you may have developed that are not helpful
Liaison with GPs, psychologists and specialists where required
Understanding pain, what type of pain it is and where it is coming from, is crucial to a positive treatment outcome. Osteopaths are specifically trained in diagnosing injury and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
If you have pain that is not going away and or getting worse-see your Osteopath Zeinah. Call now on 9452 2292 or book online.