The brain decides whether there is going to be pain or not!!
This quick blog is really just to capitalize on the visuals included. You know the old saying- a picture is worth a thousand words– well I think these three pictures have got the pain story nailed.
We had our in-service at work on the weekend and the beautiful Jane Cannan told me one of her analogies or metaphors she uses to help patients understand about how pain easily gets ramped up. (I’m sure many have picked up on this in Australia, because these fire rating indicators are something that are seen very often, the second you travel out of the cities and into the bush). I went hunting for an image and there were TWO fantastic ones – I just had to put both in because they describe so beautifully the heights to which anxiety, stress and thought viruses can reach, as acute pain becomes chronic pain and central sensitization rules.
From the green zone- the low to moderate region, where pain is more manageable right up to the Catastrophic or Code Red levels which severely interfere with quality of life!
The first part of the treatment plan when patients present with pain issues- whether it be bladder pain, sexual pain, pelvic pain or anal/colorectal pain is to provide education about chronic pain. We in Australia are blessed to have two of the best pain gurus (Lorimer Moseley and Dave Butler authors of the bible on pain management Explain Pain) living and working right here in Oz spreading their pain education story – look at Bart’s board again- The brain decides whether there is going to be pain or not.
So if we continue with images telling THIS story – what else do we do?
Understand stressors, plan, work out DIMS and SIMS
(DIMS stands for Danger In Me and SIMS stands for Safety In Me– these acronyms come from the book The Protectometer – a workbook that has been developed from the original book Explain Pain by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley. Scientists now agree that pain happens when the credible evidence of DANGER to your body is greater than the credible evidence of SAFETY to your body. Using this knowledge , Lorimer and David have developed the Protectometer- an easy to use tool that will help you apply this principle to understand and deal with your pain.)
(and I don’t mean these)
Yoga, relaxation, meditation
Laugh (at funny cats)
Eat healthily (Thanks Jessica Drummond for reminding me about good nutrition)
Get a good nights sleep
The most important thing though is to seek help from a Continence and Women’s Health Physio because believe or not they see heaps and heaps of women and men who are suffering- sadly- mostly in silence- and they really can help bring your pain down into the green (safe) zone.