A Resource for Chronic Pain
Empowering our clients to transition towards effective self-management of their condition, and achieve complete confidence and total control of their health, is something that we are extremely passionate about at Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation.
For those afflicted with chronic musculoskeletal pain, achieving this confidence can involve a tumultuous journey – often filled with doubt, fear and uncertainty. It is therefore important to provide appropriate and contemporary resources to assist in enhancing their knowledge of pain, confidence to engage in physical activity and ability to achieve true conceptual change. The evidence-based benefits of pain neuroscience education move beyond simply improving one’s understanding of pain, with meaningful improvements in both fear avoidant behaviours and pain catastrophising. These two concepts are extremely common in those experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain, with a fear to move into painful movement and a pessimistic outlook towards their recovery – and pain neuroscience education has been demonstrated to provide efficacy in reconceptualising these beliefs. In turn, this can significantly enhance one’s confidence to engage in meaningful exercise and physical activity, with the research suggesting this to be a best-practice intervention for these individuals.
With the introduction of our Pain Management Guidebook this year, we have the ability to integrate pain neuroscience education with exercise-based interventions in order to deliver scientifically proven evidence-based care for our clients. The guidebook is a 32-page self-paced learning resource that contains a suite of one page information sheets that cover educational topics explaining various aspects of pain literacy, understanding and management, aiming to:
- Improve knowledge and understanding of pain science in a simple, relatable and meaningful manner
- Assist in the understanding and identification of individualised pain contributors
- Improve self-efficacy and coping strategies to assist with ongoing pain management journey
- Shift to an internal locus of control relating to pain, through active strategies
- Development of a clear plan and solutions for sustainable self-management
When this resource is used collaboratively with a Physiotherapist or an Exercise Physiologist, it provides the opportunity to discuss, explore and contextualise the key learning principles in a manner that is personalised and meaningful. Within these sessions, new learnings can be reinforced through exercise and physical activity engagement – serving the fundamental purpose of enhancing the quality of life for those individuals afflicted with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Here’s what a couple of our clients had to say about using the guidebook:
“The Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation Pain Management Guidebook was a useful educational resource as it expanded upon the fundamental pain concepts that my Exercise Physiologist would discuss with me during our exercise reviews. It really assisted with furthering my understanding of the multidimensional nature of pain, and how pain does not always signify physical damage. Using the Pain Management Guidebook, I feel more adequately prepared and reassured in my ability to independently manage my pain in the event of a flare-up, adopting the learned principles appropriately.” – WA Client
“Using the Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation Pain Management Guidebook in collaboration with my Exercise Physiologist helped simplify the messages and further my understanding of my pain, in addition to understanding how the key messages within the guidebook could be related to my own personal experience. I was growing increasingly concerned with the persistent nature of my pain, but some of the key messages related to how pain can persist really helped to reassure me that persistent pain – while bothersome – does not necessarily prevent me from doing the things I love. The examples and anecdotes within the guidebook proved particularly useful, specifically on how pain should be interpreted as an alarm system, and does not always relate to acute injury.“ – WA Client
It’s also been a great resource for our clinicians, with our Perth-based Exercise Physiologist, James, providing the below feedback:
“As a practitioner, I have found the Pain Management Guidebook to be a highly useful tool in helping further explain the key concepts around pain to my clients. When educating my clients on their pain, it’s vitally important that the messages are tailored to their own personal experience. Pain is highly subjective, and an individual’s previous experience certainly shapes how their pain can be perceived. Many of the individuals who are referred to us may already have defined beliefs around their pain; increased fragility or anxiety of re-injury or aggravating their symptoms, for example. The key messages delivered within the guidebook can help “flip the script” and change their mindset into believing that their bodies are strong, robust and adaptable.”
You can access the Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation Pain Management Guidebook in My Health Portal.