Do You Struggle with Chronic Pain or Been Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and live in the Charleston, Goose Creek or Mt. Pleasant Area? This Information May Benefit You:
Do you feel like pain is something you struggle with on a daily basis? Have you dealt with pain for a long time and no matter how hard you try it does not get better and it hurts to move? Are you afraid of being active because you may make your pain worse? If you have dealt with pain for longer than 3 months your pain is considered chronic. Other words your doctor may use are Fibromyalgia or Central Sensitization. When pain becomes chronic our brain and our body can actually start to respond to pain differently which causes heightened pain sensitivity also called “Central Sensitization”. Our body can actually become used to pain whether the initial stimulus for the pain is there or not and this can lead to issues often associated with Fibromyalgia.
What Is Pain and Why Do We Have It?
Let’s talk about what pain is. Pain is our body’s defense mechanism to prevent harm to our body. If we touch a hot stove, our brain sends a pain signal to our hand in order for us to pull our hand away so we don’t get severely burned. Pain is what prevents us from doing damaging things to our body. However, if we are in pain for a long time our brain can remember this and start to send a pain signal to that part of our body without needing a harmful stimulus. Because of this our threshold for pain is lowered and little to no movement is required to cause pain. As a result, we start to move less, and then even less movement is required to cause pain, and a vicious cycle starts.
Something Can Be Done to Help Improve Your Pain:
However, there is good news! Evidence shows that moving can actually start to reverse this cycle. Ten minutes of aerobic activity a day has been shown to increase endorphins which act to combat pain symptoms and calm pain down. Getting moving can also improve mood and overall health which can contribute to decreasing pain.
A lot of what we know about getting moving has a lot to do with the nervous system which includes the brain, spinal cord and all the nerves that feed out of the spine to our extremities. Nerves require a lot of blood and oxygen compared to how much of your body it takes up. We can feed this need through aerobic exercise which increases blood and oxygen flow. Studies show that when people run for 6 miles the body releases the happy hormones equal to 10 mg of morphine (Janal MN, Colt EW, Clark WC, Glusman M. Pain sensitivity, mood and plasma endocrine levels in man following long-distance running: effects of naloxone. Pain. May 1984;19(1):13-25. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6330643/ ) which is 5 times the normal dose you would receive at the hospital to mitigate pain. Aerobic exercise is also known to improve sleep, decrease pain, improve oxygenation in our brain and decrease anxiety and depression. We start to see positive effects of exercise with as little as 10 minutes of getting our heart rate up.
Not only does moving more help to calm down our nervous system and reduce pain, it also teaches our body that it is not dangerous for us to move. As we move more we can start to increase our threshold for pain again and decrease pain sensitivity.
We Are Specialists In Treating Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia In Charleston, Goose Creek, and Mount Pleasant
Physical can successfully help treat individuals with chronic pain and fibromyalgia . If you are in pain and feel like you need help to start moving again, we can help. With a physical therapy evaluation we can look at movement patterns and contributing factors to pain. We can specifically address your contributing factors to pain with hands-on treatment and guided exercises. Pain is not something to ignore but it is something that you can work through with guidance to get you back to a place where you can move more with less pain.