Musculoskeletal issues can cause a plethora of problems such as decreased range of movement, motor dysfunctions, pain as well as referred pain. It is important to remember that pain is a required part of our human survival kit. Pain can be complex as well as short lived.
Following on from a sports or non-related sports injury, there is a good chance that pain is related to musculoskeletal issues. For example, muscle strain, ligament sprain, tendon inflammation or rupture or a bone break (fracture).
We understand the frustrations of pain and injury, personally and as a clinician. Proactive Being are here to provide information about ways in which an individual can become more aware and knowledgeable of injuries and physical well-being; discovering more about the potential root causes of pain symptoms and/or movement restrictions.
We hope that in turn this will bring about intrigue and interest about the human body as well as self-empowerment and responsibility. As an aside, we find that when individuals come to see us in clinic who have an interest in learning about their body and are open-minded about the rehabilitation process/journey, then the ‘return to activity and/or sport’ outcomes are usually always very successful.
Proactive Being believe that at some point of an individual’s injury or pain journey that it is valuable to seek face-to-face assessment and individualised treatment plan. However, long-term exercise programme supervision or hands-on treatment is not always possible, desired or financially viable and for that, Proactive Being can help by giving you an opportunity to learn about different self-manage strategies and improving your knowledge about physical injury and well-being.
We believe that rehabilitation, self care and management IS a journey/process. There are times when an individual may need more or indeed less support, depending on an individual’s circumstances.
Overall, we think it fair to say that we all value independence and as clinicians we try to provide the relevant information and strategies to support individuals in feeling that they are equipped with the tools needed to self-manage.
“Individual independence is paramount”
Statistics and Diagnostic Imaging: Low back pain
Approximately 80% of adults may experience back pain and approximately 30% of children. There is research that looks at persistent (chronic) low back pain with regard to diagnostic imaging and structural abnormalities of the spine. Interestingly, the correlation between an individual’s symptoms (often repressed as pain) and diagnostic imaging is weak.
Those with a new episode of back pain, less than 1% will actually have a case where a serious cause (known as a “Red Flag”) requires specific treatment e.g. such as a fracture or disease.
What we interpret this to mean is, diagnostic imaging is helpful to see abnormalities (if there are any), however, imaging can not tell you where the pain is coming from. An example of this is that in studies, many people have been shown to have spinal changes, for instance, degeneration of the spinal disc or a disc ‘bulge’ yet they do not experience any symptoms. That’s great isn’t it! People can have changes, which are in fact typical for their age, and not suffer any pain. We believe however, that there are strategies that we can all put into place to prevent back pain from developing in the first place or as importantly, preventing re-injury.
This means that peoples symptoms are not necessarily related to abnormalities, which is great news! It means that it is perfectly possible to self-manage the majority of pain issues given the right environment and information.
We know that pain can be complex (not always!) and that there are multiple factors to consider. One of the possible contributors to pain are psychological factors. For example, research and clinical experience has suggested that after an acute episode of low back pain, people may become fearful of movement due to the pain. This may be completely typical behaviour however, a fear of movement can cause movement and muscle activation patterns to be altered. Over a period of time, pain levels and altered movement behaviours, can be later activated or aggravated by emotional factors. This is a demonstration that pain behaviours can impact on both our emotional and physical well-being.
Being Pro-Active: Preventative mind-set
The health and social care secretary told the BBC radio in 2018 that “in the UK £97 billion of public money is spent treating disease and only £8 billion preventing it”
But prevention is better than cure, we all say!
With the knowledge and suitable toolbox we all have opportunities to prevent, preventable injuries, illnesses and diseases. We are told to eat healthily and people take cooking classes or buy the healthy cookbooks by celebrity chefs. People are advised to exercise which is endorsed by sports role models. But we are still finding that more can be done for preventing injuries and illnesses. Is it that people know what to do but aren’t doing it consistently or that they don’t know what to do and need more information and support?
“Achieving long-term successful results requires small and consistent changes with a proactive attitude”
Proactive Being, 2019
Using our clinical experience and expertise, Proactive Being can help inform people; to have a better understanding of pain and the healing processes as well as to give ideas about exercises and self-management strategies. We believe that when given the tools, individuals can self-manage to a healthier physical and mental being.