How are Phobias and Pain similar?
- Are you terrified of heights?
- Can you not bare the sight of a spider?
- Do you have a fear of popping joints!?
If you have had one of these phobias or any type of phobia you will know that to beat your phobia is to be exposed to it. That does not mean standing on the edge of a cliff or being put into a cage of tarantulas! No. That will only mean that the problem would be perpetuated!
Gradual exposure is the key.
How gradual will always depend on you and how engrained your phobia is. It may be as simple as, keeping with the spider example, looking at pictures of spiders.
Overtime you become used to your phobia, it becomes less scary and you can manage it better. It stops affecting your life. Dealing with pain is a very similar concept. Take lower back pain for instance.
Many of us will suffer from back pain at some point in our lives. Back pain can really stop us in our tracks. Initial rest and recuperation (R&R) is good to allow the affected tissues (muscles, ligaments, joints etc.) to recover from the injury; however, this is not good long-term. It may lead us to stopping entirely or reducing our activity through fear of making it worse.
This is not the answer.
By avoiding movement or things that we are worried that could make the pain worse (I.e. bending forward) our body is never allowed to complete the movement through fear. It therefore becomes far worse at completing the movement when it has to do it. This ultimately only succeeds in making the problem and the pain worse.
The answer is gradual exposure.
By exposing our bodies bit-by-bit to a movement it may not like, we can overcome the pain and create resilience in our body’s ability to cope and deal with pain.
Let’s take the average Joe with lower back pain. They struggle to bend and lift.
As Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths, we can Introduce bending through the spine using various techniques. We mobilise or manipulate using gentle movements that mimic bending without the load. We gradually introduce exercises that bend and load the spine. We then move onto other techniques that continue to build on this Resiliency and Robustness (a different kind of R&R!)
Overtime, this process reduces pain levels, creates strength, stability and suppleness and improves their confidence to continue to tackle whatever life throws at them.
This is exactly what we do at Body Consultancy and is underpinned by our 3-stage process:
Treat | Stabilise | Maintain
Does the average Joe sound like you? Why not get in touch and even if your in pain now during this Covid 19 Epidemic we still might be able to help. We will try our very best.
P.S. At the moment its free and there is absolutely no chance of any popping or cracking