Chronic Pain Conditions
At Physio Gym we take a highly proactive approach to managing chronic pain and its related conditions. Critical to successful intervention is:
- The medical diagnosis versus clinical diagnosis and symptomology
- The patho-physiology of the condition and how it causes physical impairment
- Developing a program to effectively manage impairments
- Working with functional limitations created by the pathological process
- Setting a clear pathway based around manual therapy, exercise prescription, pain modulation and symptom control
- Managing any anxiety, depression and fatigue that may be impeding recovery
There is often no easy pathway to managing chronic pain – but Physio Gym strives to create an environment where you can efficiently manage your condition with the right exercise to build greater pain/fatigue tolerance and restore you to a more normal life. Importantly, we invest in training you to use the right exercise equipment to meet your needs.
Chronic lower back pain
Chronic pain in the back or legs can come from injured tissues, mechanically overloaded joints, chronic muscle tension, learnt behaviours, or from a misperception of pain set by the brain. However, we don’t take a ‘your pain is in your head’ approach. Instead, we systematically undress the pathology and aim to rebuild your body based upon your impairment, pain behaviours, body awareness, and skills sets. Using this approach, we’ve had success with many people treated for chronic back pain.
We use exercise therapy like the GYROTONIC(R) methodology and Pilates to help to improve your physical impairments. Once an appropriate degree of technique is taught and you become more aware of how you can challenge your body’s limitations, we progress you on to commercial gym equipment designed to improve basic functions like pushing, pulling and lifting. Elements of cognitive behavioural therapy may also be applied, to help manage your perception of your pain.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
We aim to improve exercise tolerance and also affect the physical biochemistry of your fatigued state. To achieve this, we often start with:
- Low weight-bearing and low fatigue exercises like Pilates and GYROTONIC® methods
- Stretching and lengthening of overactive muscles that can lead to a state of fatigue
- Support for the body during fatigue, both during an exercise series and throughout the day
- Breathing techniques to increase the body’s respiratory and cardiovascular endurance
- Meditation practices
To successfully manage this condition, we determine how much pain is coming from the inflamed joint itself, versus the muscles that move and protect the joint.
Often an issue with this condition is the hyper-ready state the muscles are in to protect the joint when it’s going through an exacerbation.
As a result, the muscles create a terrible cramping pain that is superimposed on top of the joint irritation. In an acute episode, this needs to be managed, and in the long-term, trained out of the body. Muscles need to be developed to support the inflamed joints, so that the joint can become functional again after an inflammatory episode. People with Rheumatoid arthritis often respond very well to the Gyrotonic® systemised approach to movement training, which supports the limbs during movement and re-organises how the muscles work while loading and protecting inflamed joints.