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Chronic Pain: How can we manage it?

Chronic Pain : How can we manage it?

Have a quick watch at this video…

Pain and understanding why we have pain can be a tricky concept. Pain is the body’s natural response when it feels off kilter. It is sending signals that something within the body may not be firing on all cylinders. Our response may include limiting movement and activities of daily living. We become more fearful of approaching everyday tasks including remaining at work and sleep quality can be poor.

The longer we have chronic pain the harder it is for us to “tame the beast”. We ‘feed’ our pain receptors.

That is why coming and speaking to us here at Physioflexx will help. We will ensure that you have the education to know that movement is safe. This will allow for the return of function and reduce the pain and improve your overall quality of life.

Chronic pain can be quite debilitating and often a lonely experience. There is support available between GPs and us as Allied Health Care Professionals. The NHS website provides more information on managing pain if you wish to take a look.

We can offer you at Physioflexx a range of other treatments that can have an impact;

This includes:

  • Acupuncture
  • Kinetic Chain Release
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Graded Exercise Therapy
  • Yoga  

taking the next steps with your chronic pain…

chronic pain has effects on mental and physical wellbeing

Get in touch with us to discuss your current pain or visit our booking page where you can view our current availability

Running Gait

person climbing concrete stairs

Running gait is important to consider in relation to running injuries. We often see lots of different running styles but what are some of the signs to look out for and how do we change this?

What are classic signs of possible issues?

  • Overstriding
    • Landing out-with centre of mass
    • Overpronation/supination
    • Increase in injuries
  • Do we need to change gait?
    • Not if there’s no issues
    • May reduce injury risk (Chan et al., 2017)
    • May improve running economy and performance (Folland et al., 2017)
  • How do we make changes in gait?
    • If you’re making changes, make them very slowly
    • Overstriding- aim to reduce stride length and increase step-rate
    • Simple cues e.g. run softly and take smaller steps
    • Make any changes very gradually e.g. 2 mins at end of a run
silhouette of three women running on grey concrete road
Everyone’s needs are different
  • Are there any downsides?
    • Adopting new foot-striking patterns will alter loading in tissues
    • May increase risk of issues with calf/achilles
    • May become too obsessive with running pattern
  • What about support shoes or insoles/orthotics?
    • Everyone’s needs are different
    • They can help change loading in tissues
    • Find what works for you
    • Here is a useful video by Salomon TV to help when picking running shoes:
  • So what do I need to take away from this?
    • Don’t change if there’s no issues
    • If you decide to make changes, make them gradually
    • There will be variations in gait, everyone is different
    • This only forms part of a rehabilitation plan
    • Seek physiotherapist advice for further information


Chan, Z.Y., Zhang, J.H., Au, I.P., An, W.W., Shum, G.L., Ng, G.Y. and Cheung, R.T., 2018. Gait retraining for the reduction of injury occurrence in novice distance runners: 1-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of sports medicine46(2), pp.388-395.

Folland, J.P., Allen, S.J., Black, M.I., Handsaker, J.C. and Forrester, S.E., 2017. Running technique is an important component of running economy and performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise49(7), p.1412.

Living with Fibromyalgia

Image result for fibromyalgia purple butterfly and ribbon

What is Fibromyalgia?

Living with Fibromyalgia can be daunting. This is a chronic condition which is categorised by widespread pain, profound fatigue, and cognitive impairments. The word Fibromyalgia is simply broken down to mean; fibrous tissues (fibro) in the muscles (my) pain (algia). Fibromyalgia is also known as Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) or Fibro and is classed as an “invisible illness”.

What are the symptoms when living with Fibromyalgia?

There are a range of symptoms associated with this condition which include but are not limited to-

  • Muscle pain, spasms and stiffness
  • Nerve pain and paraesthesia
  • Fatigue and sleep disturbances
  • “Fibro fog” which is a problem with memory and concentration.
  • Sensitivity to light, smell, touch, sound, and environmental factors such as weather changes
  • Restless legs
  • Headaches
  • Bowel and bladder issues
  • Low mood

What can alleviate my Fibromyalgia symptoms?

Image result for fibromyalgia purple butterfly and ribbon

Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for those living with Fibromyalgia however, symptoms and “flare ups” of pain can be managed by-

  • Taking prescribed medications
  • Creating better sleeping habits
  • Carrying out aerobic exercise- hydrotherapy is also an effective treatment.
  • Pacing yourself which includes knowing your own limits, balancing periods of activity with periods of rest and setting boundaries (not being afraid to say “no” to make your health a priority)
  • Contact an HCPC registered Physiotherapist for advice and hands on treatment.

How can Physiotherapy help Fibromyalgia?

Image result for fibromyalgia purple butterfly and ribbon

Physiotherapists can use several techniques to help improve your muscle strength, coordination and range of movement. Techniques such as mobilisations, acupressure, soft tissue release and deep tissue massage are beneficial. This will aid blood flow, increase your range of movement, relieve symptoms of pain and stiffness and assist with relaxation.

Acupuncture is another successful treatment for reducing pain with Fibromyalgia. Acupuncture is the use of fine needles to stimulate the sensory nerves which results in your body’s natural painkiller called endorphins being released.

Here at Physioflexx, we offer Physio-led Pilates and Yoga classes which are beneficial in increasing your strength and flexibility as well as providing relaxation which can attribute to a more restorative night’s sleep. As these classes are a gentle form of exercise and are facilitated by a Physiotherapist practicing person-centred care, these classes are safe and effective for chronic pain sufferers.

Image result for fibromyalgia purple butterfly and ribbon