Aches and pains are part of life. Most often they are not indicative of any major harm or damage to tissues. A lot are inflammatory in nature, some can be aggravated by sustained postures as in desk based jobs and some can be aggravated by repetitive movements or tasks in day to day life. A lot of the time these aches and pains are our bodies way of letting us know it’s not happy with something. It is an early warning system if you like. It might be prodding us to move more, adapt the way we do things or just to take a break and rest up for a while.
Sometimes this system can be a little overly sensitive and the behaviour and actions it drives can lead to a loss in confidence or lead to worry that we may be causing harm or damage. These behaviours can lead to a downward spiral and become a self-fulfilling prophecy where loss of confidence / fear leads to decreased activity and a resultant decrease in fitness and strength. This is when pain moves from that termed ‘acute’ to ‘chronic’. Once this spiral starts it can take longer and be harder to move it in the opposite direction. That’s why early intervention is important.
Inflammatory type pain will usually start to calm down after 72 hours ( 3 days ). If things aren’t moving in this direction an early consultation with a Physiotherapist can be helpful in decreasing pain, muscle spasm, tension and getting things moving again with increasing confidence.
Techniques such as Acupuncture, gentle joint mobilisations and massage can be helpful in decreasing pain and tension. Acupuncture is proven to be more effective if administered in the acute stages. With decreasing pain, a window is opened to allow movement and strengthening of tissues. A wealth of research shows that tendon problems respond well to a supervised loading programme from the early stages. A good example is Achilles Tendinopathy which is common in runners and sports people. The sooner the Tendon starts getting loaded the faster people recover. The faster the return to sport or running.
An initial consult with a Physiotherapist can be very helpful in increasing confidence and reassurance which itself allows people to start moving and more importantly moving more freely. A way of thinking about this is we want to encourage ‘Beautiful Movement’ as soon as possible. This will avoid any compensatory patterns developing which may add another layer to things.
At Physiotherapy Matters we also offer Desk Assessments either in the workplace or at home. Our DSE trained Occupational Health therapists can organise an appointment with your employer or at your home office to ensure things are set up in a way to minimise the stress on areas such as the Neck or Back. Even if you’re not in pain a one off assessment may be a good way to prevent any future problems.
We also offer bespoke massage sessions which can help in the recovery of muscles and tissues. Removing tension and stiffness from muscles especially after a sporting event can help limit the DOMS and return to training.
Our Elderly Physiotherapy service offers assessments around balance, mobility and risk assessments of the home for those who feel their mobility is decreasing or perhaps have fallen. Research shows those who have a fall are more likely to have another fall within a year. Early intervention around falls and balance is proven to substantially limit this risk, keeping people safe, mobile and independent.
So whether you’re a runner, sports person, in a desk based job or elderly don’t let that ache or pain keep nagging on, don’t put off getting it assessed. The sooner things are addressed the faster they will get better.