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Chronic Pain and PTSD

What is pain? A simple three-word question about something so pervasive in life it “should” be simple to answer.

Pain is the most common reason people seek medical attention. All pain is real, and for many people, it is a debilitating part of everyday life.

Pain is like a public service announcement from your brain about a credible threat. Pain is not actually coming from your broken wrist or your sprained ankle. It is, in fact, a result of the brain evaluating information, including danger data. This detection system can be influenced by sensory and emotional experiences, as well as personal beliefs and culture, which essentially motivate us to do something to escape it.

However, chronic pain isn’t so clear cut. Chronic pain produces a state of stress. As time passes, the pain systems become more sensitive and hyper-responsive. For some people, the stress resulting from chronic pain can become consuming, and have the potential to significantly worsen and prolong the pain.

The following link is great for understanding chronic pain. It also highlights the powerful influence our mind has over our perception of pain.

Approximately 15% to 35% of patients with chronic pain also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a severe, long-lasting psychological reaction to a distressing event, which can cause significant impairment.

Nearly one in five returning veterans is affected by PTSD or depression.

Scientific Studies have demonstrated that in some individuals acupuncture has reduced their anxiety and stress levels

Acupuncture is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese history and now is coming to the forefront of the ancillary healthcare market.

Research has shown that acupuncture can:

  • act on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation.
  • positively influence the regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters to help combat negative states.
  • activate the parasympathetic system to initiate relaxation and calm down the ‘fight or flight’ response.

A simple truth about chronic pain is this – the presence of chronic pain implies changes well beyond the tissue injury. For the brain to reduce pain, it must believe the situation is safe.

At Physionorth our Physiotherapists are experts in pain management and our Acupuncturist is passionate about being involved in a patient’s pain management plan. They have a wealth of knowledge regarding how pain works, and what influence it has on the mind and body. The team uses a holistic treatment approach to address all aspects of pain to enable people to move and feel their best.

The services offered at Physionorth help encourage your body to believe it is strong, build the right support systems to protect the body from experiencing pain, desensitize the body from pain, correct structural imbalances through proper muscle activation, and will empower you to continue self-management at home to ultimately reduce pain.

Our very own acupuncturist Bek is passionate about helping those with PTSD. She is currently running a program called ‘ACU22’ which is designed for current and ex-service personnel who suffer from PTSD or chronic pain. She will use point selection aimed at general well-being, and pain relief to assist in the management of chronic pain.

For more information contact our friendly team today on 4724 0768.

Or if you are interested in knowing more about the ACU22 program email!

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