Pain is a sensation that no one wants to experience. At times, it can be severe and debilitating. It can sometimes be difficult to treat or eradicate. However, pain can be overcome. The first step to combating pain is to start to truly and accurately understand your pain.
So, what is pain? Pain can be defined as an “emotional response to a stimulated nerve.” Pain is a subjective experience, which makes it difficult to describe. Using subjective measures to quantify and characterize it may also make it difficult to recognize subtle changes and improvements. When asked, “How is your pain today?’, a general subjective response like “Okay” or “Bad” is not sufficient to address and treat it. To accurately track and assess the current presenting symptoms and general progress, a person must make his pain more measureable by specifying the following information:
- Where exactly is your pain? (Point with your finger)
- How frequent is your pain? (How many times per day/hour do you feel the pain?)
- How long does your pain last? (If constant, that means you feel it even when you wake up to get a drink in the middle of the night.)
- How intense is your pain on a scale from 0-10? (If you are really a 10 right now, then you should be crying on the floor.)
- Is there anything that relieves the pain? (Such as changing position, sitting down)
The next step is to understand your pain’s triggers—what induces the pain to begin. There are two main types of triggers: immediate onset and delayed onset. Immediate onset means that the pain is linked to a specific movement, activity or posture. Delayed onset is more of a non-specific pain, which comes on slowly and often cannot be linked to a specific movement, activity or posture. It is important to identify and categorize one’s trigger, since the treatment approach would be different for each.
Researchers compared a group of patients who believed they were improving to a group of patients who did not believe they were improving. The group that believed they were improving recovered significantly faster. One’s attitude when it comes to pain is, therefore, clearly an important factor. As patients begin to view their pain in a more measureable manner, they can begin to take ownership of the pain, becoming aware of changes and thus gaining more of a sense of control—and hope for recovery.
Imagine living every day feeling great. My goal is to provide you with an opportunity to return to a pain-free life. I offer personalized, hands-on manual physical therapy techniques, coupled with an appropriate exercise program. I don’t just treat your pain; I find the source and work to ensure long-lasting changes. I value communication and providing my patients with the knowledge and tools they need to achieve their fullest potential as quickly as possible.
Aryeh Feldstein is a licensed physical therapist in Israel and New York. He received his training at Touro College in NY. He has taken extensive courses and specializes in Functional Manual Therapy, which is a personalized integrated evaluation and treatment system that promotes optimum human performance. He currently sees patients in his office in Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef or in their homes.
Aryeh can be reached at 058-781-9801, firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website, aryehpt.com.