Best benefit: outpatient therapy vs home health

Personal Wellness with Cheryl Jeane

Personal Wellness with Cheryl Jeane

When you have pain, there is ALWAYS an emotion with it. If you are experiencing acute pain (recent pain) you typically have fear and frustration around it. Fear of, “What does the pain mean”? What is wrong? Frustration (you have to go to the ER, you can’t get out of bed, can’t go to work, can’t do what you want to do, and it takes up your time).
Pain isn’t normal aging, and it means something is wrong, and needs to be checked out.
After pain goes past the acute stage, you just do what you need to do in spite of the pain. Your back hurts, but you need to get the house cleaned? You just do it anyway – taking more rest breaks, or take meds to keep it from getting you down. That suppresses normal feedback loops that tell you something is wrong – and your body starts compensating – causing breakdown somewhere else, and you are in a downward spiral.
With that comes more emotion, possibly anger, helplessness, feelings of decreased self-worth because you can’t provide for yourself or your family like you have done in the past.
On the flip side – emotion can cause pain (have you seen the TV ads about depression?) Think about it – you are “stressed” and your shoulders get tight. That is a common area, but all other areas of your body can hold emotion.
So – for pain and emotion – which comes first? When they are worked on together, results happen faster. Some ways to help with emotion that you can do today: you can start with rocking in a chair or swinging. The rhythmic motion helps to calm the nervous system, and decreases pain. This is something you already do with acute pain. When you hit your elbow, you often hold it close and rock till the pain subsides.
Exercise increases your natural endorphins, which are your feel-good chemicals in your body that help decrease pain. Besides that, there is the feeling of accomplishment you have when you are done – and if you are exercising, it will help you become stronger and more flexible, all of which typically help decrease pain.
So – for pain and emotion – which comes first? When they are worked on together, results happen faster.

Dr. Cheryl Jeane is a physical therapist with 21 years of experience and treats patients at Triton Health Care on Florida Blvd. in Denham Springs.

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