Invisible Conditions: Managing Chronic Pain with Complimentary Therapies
Article written for the Chew Valley Gazette, January 2020 

Most people these days will know at least one person with an “invisible condition”, even if they are not aware of who that person is. One of the most difficult to diagnose, manage and understand is Chronic Pain.

The root causes of Chronic Pain are extremely varied, and this in itself often makes diagnosis slow and treatment very difficult. Injury, side effects of treatments or medication, surgeries, neurological damage – any and all of these can lead to a patient experiencing frequent or persistent pain. There are also a number of “Chronic Pain Conditions”; Fibromyalgia, Neuralgia, Arthritis, MS, Hyper Mobility Syndrome and more, which all too often can take months or even years to diagnose.
CVT Practice Manage Pam Sayer (seated) has been
managing a Chronic Pain condition with the help of
regular treatments from Osteopath Belind Eyers
(standing) for over 12 years.

Living with Chronic Pain is extremely challenging, both physically and emotionally. People often find it difficult to understand or believe that someone can experience pain for such a long time when there is “nothing to see”. Pain usually makes movement difficult and can dramatically limit what activities a person can do or for how long, as well as causing a widespread feeling of exhaustion, which often manifests as impatience and sort temper in the patient. Perversely, certain Chronic Pain conditions can actually make a patient look extremely well and healthy with a rosy complexion and bright sparkling eyes, making gaining understanding and support from friends, family, colleagues and even medical professionals very difficult.

Our mainstream medical service is geared to deal with acute conditions, so many with long term pain issues turn to complimentary medicine to help manage their conditions, as, while pain relieving medication most definitely has its place, many patients do not want to be taking it for long periods, or it does not do enough to allow the patient to function at a comfortable level. Therapies that promote both physical and emotional relaxation can be extremely useful in helping a patient manage their pain, and often allows them to gain a better understanding of it, which in turn improves their control of it.

A number of the therapies available at Chew Valley Therapies Practice can be part of a successful pain management regime, whether in combination or as stand alone treatments. It should be noted however that the efficacy of any therapy is dependent on the patient’s commitment to it, as chronic conditions are best managed with long term “maintenance” treatment which can be regular but infrequent.