Repetitive strain injury RSI, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, headaches

Chronic Pain is a huge problem for many people. Once initated a chronic pain cycle can be extremely difficult to break. Many people suffer for years, attend several medical and alternative practitioners and frequently begin to feel that others do not fully believe them regarding the extent of their pain.

It’s in your head” – Of course it’s in your head! Your brain is in your head and so all pain is perceived in your head. The origin of your pain, however, is very real and originated in some structure within your body.

In the clinic we will look for all possible sources of your pain, determine the underlying causes and treat globally to relieve you of your symptoms.

We will explain the nature of chronic pain, and how the nerves and brain react to ongoing pain, and how this in turn presents itself in your body

Many pains are referred from other structures within the body, from:

  • Joints above or below the pain
  • Joints in the spine
  • Soft tissue structures such as ligaments and muscles
  • Myofascial Trigger Points within muscle. (These are Hypersensitive points within muscle which have very specific pain referral patterns).
  • Internal organs

There are also a number of conditions that are responsible for Chronic Pain

  • Repetitive strain Injury RSI
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Chronic Low back pain

Fybromyalgia

One of the most well known and widely diagnosed types of chronic pain is Fibromyalgia. It is frequently diagnosed when a person has long-term,  pain and tenderness through out the musculo-skeletal system in the entire body.

It is also linked to fatigue, insomnia and sleep disorders, migraines and headaches, depression and lethargy, and anxiety

Causes

There is no known cause of fibromyalgia but the following tend to be associated with a diagnosis of fybromyalgia.

  • Stress – both Physical and emotional or trauma

  • Abnormal pain responses which develop as part of a chronic pain cycle

  • Sleep disturbances, insomnia

  • Infection, such as a virus, although none has been identified

  • Chronic neck or back pain

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Depression, lethargy and anxiety

  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

It is commonly diagnosed in females between 25 and 50 years of age

 

Symptoms

Pain in the main symptom of fibromyalgia. It may be mild to severe.

  • Painful areas are called tender points. Tender points are found in the soft tissue on the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, and knees. A diagnosis is frequently made on the strength of these tender points. The pain then spreads out from these areas.

  • The pain may feel like a deep ache, shooting pain or burning pain.

  • The Pain may get worse with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress.

 

Other symptoms of fibromyalgia may include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Memory and concentration problems

  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet

  • Palpitations

  • Reduced ability to exercise

  • Tension or migraine headaches

 

Diagnosis

To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must have had at least 3 months of widespread pain, and pain and tenderness in at least 11 of 18 areas, including

  • Arms (elbows)

  • Buttocks

  • Chest

  • Knees

  • Lower back

  • Neck

  • Rib cage

  • Shoulders

  • Thighs

It is the presence of these tender points which leads many experienced physiotherapists to link these symptoms to active myofascial trigger points which correspond in position to the focal tender points used to make a diagnosis of fybromyalgia.
The fact that pain must be there for at least 3 months links it to a normal chronic pain cycle into which people slip when pain persists for this length of time.

The fact that the pain may get worse with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress, further supports the theory that the tender areas are related to active myofascial trigger points.

Blood and urine tests are usually normal. However, tests may be done to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to help relieve pain and other symptoms, and to help a person cope with the symptoms.

The first type of treatment should involve:

  • Physiotherapy – Manual Techniques- Soft tissue massage, Myo fascial trigger point release, Deep Dry needling, relaxation technigues,

  • Physiotherapy – Exercise Techniques – prescribed exercise programmes. core strengthening, pilates, postural exercises, flexibility programmes, hydrotherapy,

  • Physiotherapy – Electrotherapy – Laser, High dose therapeutic Ultrasound, neuro muscular detone techniques, heat
  • Stress-relieve, including light massage and relaxation techniques

  • Many medications are also prescribed