Pain point – The New Indian Express

Pain point – The New Indian Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Pain is a protective and useful sensation that tells the brain about actual or impending tissue damage. The immune system is mobilised to that region to heal the damage. In fact, short pain is vital for our survival and safety.

But is pain always equal to tissue damage? Not always. When an injury happens for the first time, there is actual tissue damage in that region. This is an acute injury. The immune system takes over and it heals in some time. Even after the healing is complete, its memory is stored in the hippocampus (memory centre).Next time, when we move and repeat a similar movement pattern to the original injury, the brain identifies it as a potential threat based on the past memory. To stop us from going further, it releases pain substance and we feel the pain now even without any injury.

This is an example of the brain being overprotective. When this happens multiple times, we avoid or compensate for the original movement and create inefficient compensatory movement patterns. These put excess load and can potentially cause injury and pain. This is the chronic pain-injury cycle. This is why some people keep having a bad back or neck issues which show up every now and then.

The most common questions are whether to rest; how much and when; and how to move. Rest is not always required. But when the pain is more than 70 per cent of your capacity, it is good to protect and rest the part. Application of ice and heat helps in pain relief. Once the pain is down to 50 per cent, you can start moving slowly indoors making sure that you dont do the aggravating movement. You can move that part in all pain-free zones. Belly breathing can help greatly to stabilise the core and decrease the pain. When the pain is stable at 50 per cent for 24 to 48 hours, start with posture corrective exercises, core stability activities like a simple tummy tuck along with belly breathing.

How to keep pain at bay

Pain can be an uncomfortable feeling but can be controlled. Make sure to take the right steps towards recovery.

(The writer is founder, Recover Physiotherapy)

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Pain point - The New Indian Express

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