Four Surprising Reasons Why
Your Pain Is Not Improving
Most tissues in the body have
healed completely in six to 12 weeks following an injury, however, many people
have severe pain that lasts much longer than this. We know that the intensity
of the pain you feel is not always associated with a similar amount of damage.
In some cases, there can be a severe amount of pain with almost no detectable
damage. With this in mind, we explore some reasons why your pain might not be
getting better, long after the tissues have healed.
afraid of the pain.
Pain can mean many different things, for some
of us pain can affect our ability to work or can be a symptom of a serious
disease. What you believe about your pain can either amplify or reduce the
symptoms you experience. If you feel that every time you experience pain you
are causing more damage, you will naturally pay more attention to this and your
nervous system will amplify the signals in an attempt to keep you safe.
If you understand the cause of your pain and
know that while there is discomfort, you are not in danger of causing more
damage, often the pain will feel less severe. This is one of the benefits of
seeing a physiotherapist after your injury as they can help you to understand
your pain, giving you more control over your recovery.
moving differently after the injury.
Immediately after an injury, it’s natural to change the way you move to avoid painful movements. After a
while, these changed movement patterns can become maladaptive and actually
begin to cause pain and discomfort on their own due to the altered stress patterns
placed on your body.
adaptive movement patterns can often go a long way in reducing pain after an
injury. You might not have noticed these changes and might need a
physiotherapist to identify and help you to return to your usual movement
You have lost muscle strength since the injury.
While a certain
amount of rest following an injury is always helpful, if we stop moving
altogether, our muscles can lose strength. This can mean that our posture
changes, we fatigue easier during our usual activities and that we are more
susceptible to further injury. Less movement also means we actually focus on the
pain more when it does happen. Physiotherapists are able to advise you on the
right types and amounts of excercise for you in the period following your
The pain has affected your lifestyle.
affects your ability to sleep, work and even concentrate, it’s not surprising
that this can have a negative affect on your overall wellbeing and mental
health. This can create a negative cycle of anxitey and depression that perpetuates
and increases the experience of pain. If your pain is really getting you down, speaking
to a mental health professional can actually be a valuable part of your