This was such a difficult blog for me to write, not only because the subject is close to my heart, but because writing about chronic pain and its physical and emotional elements isn’t something that is easily explained!
Did you know that nearly 10 million people in the UK are living with chronic pain right now? Often, those of us who live with daily pain think that we are alone in our suffering… But clearly, that isn’t the case. However, there is still a bit of a stigma and lack of understanding connected to chronic pain which can leave us feeling a bit isolated.
Chronic Pain is actually an umbrella term which covers an enormous range of conditions. Some common ones are Rheumatoid Arthritis, ME, Fibromyalgia, Migraine and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but generally, chronic pain is any pain that has been experienced consistently for more than 12 weeks.
A lot of people don’t realize or understand your pain if they can’t see it physically. Broken a limb and got a cast on? People understand that. Got chronic knee pain that no one can see? Not so much. Suffer from constant digestive pain caused by IBS or Crohn’s disease? People just don’t understand that. Most of us with chronic pain do tend to ‘just get on with it’, and the pain becomes almost normal to us. But because the pain of any sort is such a personal thing, it can be hard to explain to others how you are feeling, and sometimes this can lead to strains in relationships and loss of friendships, especially if you are often too poorly to venture out for social activities.
Chronic pain can affect us emotionally as well. A high percentage of chronic pain sufferers will experience low mood or depression at some point in their lives, and often anxiety as well. The negative impact of this can make pain worse, as being depressed or anxious can affect the body’s natural painkillers, which can lead to more pain, which can lead to more depression, which can… You get the idea, it’s a vicious circle and it can be hard to break free.
Finding relief for chronic pain can be difficult, and often people seek out alternative therapies as part of their ongoing pain management. At the Wellbeing Clinic, we are aware of the need to take a truly holistic approach to working with the effects of chronic pain on an emotional and physical level. Many of our therapists have a vast amount of experience working with these complex conditions and are able to provide a safe and therapeutic environment to deliver a whole range of healing therapies, from Acupuncture to Chiropractic, Massage to Meditation to Craniosacral Therapy.