All to often we put up with pain thinking this is just the way it has to be or that nothing can be done about it. Ignoring pain can be a really dangerous game to play.
Living with pain can be a consequence of any number of things, perhaps you received an incorrect diagnosis or you got used to the pain or you feel like pain is inevitable like getting grey hairs.
“Pain is the body’s red alert.” Says Anne Louise Oaklander MD PHD an associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School “You must always listen to it.”
Chronic pain can affect so many facets of your life. It can lead to disrupted sleep which ironically reduces the body’s capacity to heal. It can stop you from exercising which has flow on health consequences. It can interfere with your work and this together with the constant anticipation of pain can lead to increased levels of anxiety.
Pain is intended as a short term signal. Its job is to get you to immediately stop what you are doing. For example if you stand on something sharp pain reflex is designed to get you to lift your foot to prevent further damage. Pain should go away after a short period.
But some pain does not go away and as a consequence the pain signalling system breaks down. Overtime the pain mechanism will be telling you to stop but stopping will cause more long term damage such as muscle weakness or joint stiffness
Nobody should be putting up with pain. There are many solutions to most foot and leg problems the trouble is getting the right combination of solutions to fix your problem. This is where it gets tricky. Often we will try a little bit of this and a little bit of that and eventually we throw our hands up in frustration with the belief that we have tried everything but nothing works. What a lot of people don’t realise is that if you don’t introduce the right treatment at the right time then you wont get the right result. So it is extremely important that the treatment you are using is used in the right time and manner applied at the right intensity and for the correct length of time.
This can take quite a lot of skill and perseverance. This is where your health professional comes in. We are highly trained in recognising the right time to apply the right treatment. Often you will find the treatment that ends up giving you the best result may in fact be something you have tried before.
So don’t put up with pain thinking you have tried everything. Have your problems properly assessed and a comprehensive treatment plan put in place.
No one should be putting up with pain! It is time to do something about it.
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