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Shepherds Health

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What factors could be affecting your back pain?

By Admin
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

General health and immune function in chronic pain

Let’s have a brief look at how our general fitness and health may be effecting our pain levels or our susceptibility to developing chronic pain.

World renowned Chronic Pain Physician, Dr Kieran O’Sullivan has been presenting some of the new research looking into some of the contributing factors of chronic back or joint pain. He states “Getting back pain is normal and not a problem. It is not getting better that is the problem.”

Dr O’Sullivan’s research backs up most of the modern research findings into chronic pain.

We all suffer some degree of back pain at some point in our lives. Back pain lasting a few days is the same as suffering constipation, diarrhoea, a headache, or muscle soreness in the legs after a hard gym session. These are all unpleasent symptoms but they usually go away after a few days. What the research shows is that exercise performed by chronic back pain sufferers often helps their back pain. But the reason it helps is not necessarily because they are “strengthening” their backs, as they are often not that weak anyway. But rather the other benefits of exercise such as:

  1. Reduction of stress
  2. Better quality sleep
  3. Release of endorphines
  4. Increased immune system function
  5. Increased central nervous system function

…to name but a few of the positives of exercise, are all factors that reduce our pain levels and aid general recovery through good healthy living.

If you come and see us at Shepherds’ Physiotherapy our treatment will aim to help you manage stress levels, give sleep and exercise advice and help clear any physical restrictions or body dysfunctions that are contributing to your pain. We still do manual therapy and in fact are specialists in manual therapy! But it is important that we look at all the factors contributing towards your pain, rather than just the things you can see on an MRI scan.

back pain factors

For further information in more detail check out this great lecture with Dr O’Sullivan:


Or listen to this fascinating podcast:


Need help with applying this to you or someone you know?  Contact us here today or call us now on 01371 700466. Don’t suffer in silence, let us help you get your healthy active life back.

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