Pain and Anxiety


Do not Be Afraid!

Pain, anxiety, and fear are common bedfellows…. there are even those who believe the Coronavirus pandemic began and is being fuelled by the world’s collective fears (but that’s another story).  Whatever you believe, it is always better to be well informed, so you can rationalise your fears.

So here are some facts:-

Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild discomfort to severe agony.

Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part results from nerve stimulation.

It may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like Fibromyalgia.

There are four major types of pain:

Nociceptive : Typically, the result of tissue injury. … e.g. sprained ankle

Inflammatory : An abnormal inflammation caused by an inappropriate response by the body’s immune system. … e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Neuropathic: caused by nerve irritation. … e.g. Sciatica

Functional: Discomfort without obvious origin but can still cause pain. … e.g. Fibromyalgia or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, feelings of stress and pain.

Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.  Fear is a natural, powerful, and primitive human emotion.

Fear involves a universal biochemical response as well as a high individual emotional response.    Fear alerts us to the presence of danger or the threat of harm, whether that danger is physical or psychological.

As you can see pain, anxiety and fear are very closely related but they are not always negative feelings, they can also be protective. It is when the levels of these become too large or uncontrolled that the body starts to overcompensate, produce too much adrenaline, and then unwelcome muscular tension can become a evident. When the body reaches this state there can be a vicious cycle of pain-spasm-pain occur.

Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.

By giving people a true understanding of the cause(s) of their pain and the pathways to recovery Osteopaths can remove the damaging effects of fear and anxiety. With structured treatment and rehabilitation regimes we can help initial recovery and reduce the risk of recurrent episodes.

So, in conclusion when the body and mind are at ease the risks of disease and injury causing long lasting effects are greatly reduced.


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