The Mystery of Chronic Pain

The majority of my clinic time here at Brighton Bodyworks is spent providing remedial massage therapy to people suffering with long-term, chronic pain conditions. Within that group many of the conditions bear similarities but the levels of pain and corresponding effect on an individual’s quality of life can vary greatly.

Elliot Krane is a Paediatrician and anaesthetist manages Pain Management Service at the Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto USA. He says that in the 25 years he has held that position have taught him that pain is a disease in itself, not just a symptom. In 10% of people who experience an infection, inflammation, operation or illness, their pain persists for months or even years after the condition has subsided. It is then its own disease.

Elliot illustrates this with startling example from his own practice. These extreme cases are rare, but at a lower level the amplification and distortion of pain is more common. The mechanism of glial cells to create a positive feedback loop makes nerve cells which should be quiet, noisy and active. They heighten the sensation of pain. Physical and occupational therapy, coupled with psychotherapy, are important in the treatment of these patients and is very effective. Research in this field is ongoing but already promises great things.

Remedial massage techniques are proven to help in the management of chronic pain. If you would like to discuss an existing condition or treatment options call Amy at Brighton Bodyworks on 01273 729691.

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