Chronic Pain Syndromes
Chronic pain syndrome is an umbrella term covering a wide range of conditions which are characterised by long term pain. The most common conditions are Fibromyalgia and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME is quite commonly associated with these pain syndromes. These conditions are similar in that none have a known cause, unlike chronic pain caused by structural deformities such as arthritis, nerve irritation, disc bulges, etc.
Chronic persistent pain takes a multi-disciplinary approach to manage the symptoms to allow sufferers to continue with as much as they can of their usual activities. Pacing of activity plays a large part in the management of symptoms, with a little and often approach rather than a boom-bust cycle. In most cases, sufferers benefit from psychological input too as mood and emotion can have huge effects on pain symptoms as these are processed by closely related areas of the brain.
Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is a great way to manage all types of pain.
• The warmth of the water helps to reduce sensation of pain and therefore make it easier to exercise and improve muscle strength and joint ROM
• The buoyancy of the water helps offload bodyweight, especially from those painful joints, making exercise more comfortable than on land
• Due to the reduced impact of exercising in water, those with chronic pain syndromes are able to better pace their activity
• Exercise is known for its mood enhancing properties due to hormone release, this is particularly useful for those with chronic pain syndromes where mood can influence their pain symptoms.