It is important for both the client and the therapist to understand the type of pain they are dealing with when planning therapy sessions or individual programmes.
Acute pain is pain that occurs immediately on or after a physical injury or invasive surgery. It is a warning signal, the body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. If the cause of acute pain is not treated it can develop into long-term chronic pain.
Chronic pain is long-term pain that can be caused by untreated physical injuries or the build-up of scar tissue following invasive surgery. It can also be long-term pain caused by ongoing medical conditions.
As anyone with a chronic pain condition knows, it can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental wellbeing, and quality of life.
Sometimes acute pain and chronic pain overlap. For example, someone may have an old injury which causes low-level discomfort but which can also ‘flare up’ into acute pain.
There is research evidence that chronic long-term pain may actually change patterns in the brain. More information about how this works is included in the section psychology of pain.
Both acute pain and chronic pain can be either referred pain or diffuse pain:
Referred pain is pain which is felt in one part of the body but caused by a problem in a different part of the body. Referred pain can often be particularly confusing and distressing to clients. At the Pain Care Clinic we have found myofascial release and trigger point therapy to be effective therapies for referred pain.
Diffuse pain is pain that shifts in location and intensity throughout the body. An example of a diffuse pain condition is fibromyalgia. In small clinical trials myofascial release has been found to be effective on patients with fibromyalgia, although further research is necessary. At the Pain Care Clinic we have had positive results using myofascial release techniques on clients with fibromyalgia and other diffuse pain conditions.
We will also add details of interesting pain research to our news & articles section as results become known.
The Pain Care Clinic specialises in myofascial release and advanced massage therapy for private clients with medical diagnoses of chronic pain conditions and acute pain or injuries.
The information on these pages is intended to be general information only.
If you are unsure about your own medical diagnosis or options for medical treatment then please consult a doctor.