It goes without saying that pain is a feature of almost everything we treat.
Acute pain is generally associated with an injury that is less than 6 weeks old, and will usually resolve as the underlying condition gets better.
We see our work as preventing an acutely painful condition becoming a chronic one.
As a general rule, we like to see patients within the first six days. We can make the diagnosis after a full clinical examination and it may be that only simple advice is needed, or that by treating the condition quickly then the patient can get back to work or sport quicker than by letting the condition take it’s course.
The problems start when a condition is allowed to continue for more than three months. The original condition may well have resolved, but the patient is still in pain.
This is situation can lead to increased use of medication and ultimately coming under the care of a Pain Clinic. Injections, surgery and long term use of opiods may be used. Cognitive behavioural therapy may also be tried.
However, there is the risk of the pain becoming a permanent feature.
Over the last few years we are seeing an increasing number of patients with chronic pain.
The good news is that something can be done. UK physiotherapists working in the speciality of chronic pain and those carrying out research into this difficult area, now lead the world across all the healthcare professions Louis Gifford FCSP developed his Mature Organism Model, which has become the next notable milestone in our understanding of pain since the Pain Gate Theory of Melzack and Wall in the late 1960’s.
Just before his death in 2014, Louis wrote a three volume, 450,000 word text called Aches and Pains. This is the story of his work coupled with detailed descriptions and references of all that we know at the moment.
His close friend Professor Michael Thacker PhD MSc Grad Dip Phys FCSP completed his PhD at King’s, his thesis focused on neuro-immune interactions and pain; more specifically the role of the chemokine CCL2 as a key mediator of neuropathic pain.
Prof Thacker and a significant number of other top UK Physiotherapists are continuing to give we clinicians the understanding and tools to help patients with chronic pain to reduce their medication as well as their pain.
The advancement of our knowledge into pain and pain mechanisms has not been the exclusive domain of the British physiotherapists. The Australian physiotherapists have also been working in this area, notably Professors David Butler and Lorimer Moseley.
Louis Gifford also worked in Australia for 10 years with David Butler and the collaboration between the Australian and British physiotherapists continues to the benefit of patients the world over.
All the clinicians at Stort Physio are committed to incorporating the work of these world-ranking British and Australian physiotherapists.
There is no doubt that the evidence, research and clinical trials that continue to come from physiotherapists around the world, the more we understand the physiology and complex mechanisms of pain. It is also becoming abundantly clear that the answer to chronic pain does not lie with stronger and stronger pain medication.
We are seeing significant success in this complex area of work. However, it does take time and a great deal of education and support for the patient.
This is why we offer a fixed price, discounted Plan for patients with long standing conditions and chronic pain. This means that patients know from the outset what the cost will be and is the most cost effective, and clinically effective way of achieving a successful outcome.