Pain is a normal symptom after an injury. But sometimes, pain does not go away and stays longer than normal healing times. It can start to affect your life in a lot of different ways and does not always seem to make sense, which can be very frustrating. If this sounds like you, our physiotherapists can help you make sense of pain and get back to doing the things you enjoy.
The connection between PTSD and Physical Pain
Some traumatic events involving physical impact cause subsequent physical effects and injury. Sometimes the pain is a physical symptom that progresses later on. The various symptoms of PTSD, including physical tension and stress, can also create physical pain symptoms.
Many individuals with OSI's will experience sleep issues, hyperarousal, and anxiety which contribute to physical tension and stress. Often migraines, physical pain and body aches, and digestive problems can be attributed to one's PTSD symptoms.
Other health issues co-occur with PTSD — quite often, concurrent disorders like mental health or addictions or co-morbidities like social phobia or depression arise. While self-care is essential, it can be difficult for an individual dealing with symptoms to balance their lifestyle with exercise, nutrition and rest, often resulting in weight gain also potentially leading to physical pain. Badge of Life Canada, we view wellness in one's balance of physical, mental and spiritual health, which can all be impacted by an OSI.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for three months or more, resulting from functional, psychological and social problems that detract from the enjoyment of daily living, negatively impacting one's life.
While pain can be helpful as a warning to prevent injury to oneself, chronic pain is not beneficial as a warning to avoid physical injury or disease. It's similar to an alarm system working overtime in this case, resulting from neural mechanisms gone awry. The prescribing of medications may help with sensory and affective components of chronic pain, while psychotherapy can assist with the cognitive component.
If you are seeking answers, you should seek professional help from a doctor or counsellor. Please check out the list of therapists and crisis resources listed by Province and Territory. A physiotherapist may also help you develop the unique skill set to make meaningful changes in your life towards pain management and lend support so you can maintain these coping skills long-term.
Physio Connection is a network of qualified physiotherapists who provide high-quality pain management online across Canada. We all have a very good understanding of pain and its science, which means we can help you learn about and manage your pain, regain control in your life and start working together towards achieving the things that matter to you. If that sounds like something you are interested in or would like to learn more about, feel free to access our website and contact us! Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a natural emotional response to frightening or dangerous experiences that involve actual or threatened serious harm to oneself or others. However, for some people, the thoughts or memories of these events seriously affect their lives, long after any real danger has passed. These types of experiences are called “traumatic.”