Acute Pain or Chronic Pain?

What is the difference between acute pain and chronic pain?

Do you have acute pain or chronic pain?

Pain is a warning sign that will tend to amplify in duration and intensity if the cause is not addressed. Of course you can mask the symptoms with medication and that may work successfully for some conditions or be effective for a long time. But ultimately for chronic pain getting to the cause and dealing with it, is really the solution for living pain free!

Medical and health professionals will generally classify your pain as either acute or chronic but you are the judge of its intensity, whether it is mild, severe or anything in between

Here are some indicators of both acute pain and chronic pain.

What are the indicators of Acute Pain?

Sudden and usually short term.
Normal response to trauma.
Sharp, aching or throbbing pain which may worsen on movement.
Cause is known, typically resulting from trauma to body tissue eg., broken bones, burns, cuts, surgery, dental problems, pregnancy and childbirth.
Expected symptoms as per the trauma identified. Physiological signs such as wincing, grimacing, sweating, rapid pulse and breathing etc., which go away with healing.
Pain usually disappears when cause is treated or healed.
If not treated effectively can develop into a chronic pain.

Acute pain is typically caused by muscle, nerve or tissue damage as a result of trauma, injury or surgery. Since the reason is obvious, it is normally relatively easy to correct or remove the source of the pain. Accordingly acute pain will tend to decrease over time as the tissue damage heals or the source of pain is removed.

What are the indicators of Chronic Pain?

Long term, typically more than three months.
May be an abnormal response in that initial trauma may have healed but pain persists. Can be a condition or disorder by itself.
A mix of sharp, dull, burning or tingling pain, often experienced frequently or daily and includes neuropathic pain where the problem may be in the nerves, spinal cord or brain.
Cause may or may not be known. May result from ongoing, degenerative, musculoskeletal, infective, malignant conditions or no identifiable cause.
Varied symptoms eg., headaches, back pain, joint or arthritic pain, nerve pain, tight muscles, limited mobility, tiredness, anxiety, anger, depression, fear, etc.

Pain receptors may become hypersensitive and too easily activated or the brain and spinal cord may be unable to dampen or decrease pain signals. 
Pain persists after normal injury healing time or there may be no known cure.
Referred pain and compensation patterns often develop.

Unresolved pain that persists past three months is termed chronic and continues beyond the normal healing time. Its cause may not always be attributed to physical tissue damage. Chronic pain can also be the result of a degenerative or malignant condition or may have no readily identifiable origin.

Chronic pain activates the sympathetic nervous system, the body’s ‘fight or flight’ automatic response. It places the body in continual stress mode which can impact on issues such as heart rate and blood pressure, constrict blood vessels, etc. It is not good for the body to remain in that heightened stress response.

Acute pain or chronic pain? Which do you have? No matter which sort of pain you are experiencing, I can help with both physical relief and mindset.

Get in touch to book your free fifteen minute consult so we can discuss what you need!

Tips for getting back to exercise

“The alternative to daily exercise, stretching or movement is deterioration, aging, loss of muscle tone and circulation, eventually atrophy and the death of healthy tissue – seriously you need to move!”

As humans we are part of the animal kingdom and are made to move – in all directions, every day.

We were not designed to sit all day at a computer desk, be in a car driving around for hours or working a 12-hour shift in a mining truck etc. We are biped with long legs and arms for a reason – we are made to walk, run, jog, dance, stretch, climb and reach.

Our anatomy and physiology is such that if we don’t constantly move, our muscles and joints do physically become stiff and our fascia (connective tissue or membranes that surround line and separate our muscles, stabilises our bodies etc.) will actually start to fuse together and then limit our mobility.

If you have not exercised for some time due to pain, illness or injury, take it slowly and consult your medical professionals. Here are my tips to consider before you start any movement program:

  • Move with intention – don’t be in a rush. First stop and think what you want to achieve. Secondly visualise it clearly in your mind, mentally feel yourself doing it successfully and then finally make your move. Be deliberate and thoughtful in your actions and you greatly increase success. You also will decrease your chance of accident or injury.

  • Do any new activity slowly. If you been in pain for a while, chances are you’ve lost some muscle tone and flexibility due to inactivity. Suddenly calling those weakened muscles and joints into fast action is not in your best interest. Start slowly!

  • Protect your lower back. Statistically the majority of people experience their pain in the lower back, hips and legs. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to tighten your stomach muscles, engage your core, before and whenever you put your back under strain, particularly if you are overweight or have a large stomach. For example, when getting in and out of chairs or your car, lifting groceries out of the car boot etc, pull in and tighten those stomach muscles before and during the activity. This will help support the lower back and reduce the potential for injury.

  • Start in small ways – with your everyday activities. Go for a short walk first thing in the morning or in the evening rather than watching TV. Take the dog for a walk (or your partner, children or grandchildren). Take every opportunity to move rather than staying in bed or in that chair! That old saying is true, ‘move it or lose it!’ Start with small, realistic goals and work your way up gradually.

  • Get out of the house! A change of location can increase your energy levels, allow interaction with people, create a diversion and take the focus off your pain. A walk in the garden, along the river or at the beach can give you fresh air to breathe and help improve morale. If you are alone, head to your nearest shopping centre or park and make some new friends.

  • Adopt a positive ‘YES’ attitude. Whenever you get invited anywhere, automatically say yes! Even if you don’t feel like it, the majority of times when you make the effort and get there, you will be glad you did and your body will appreciate the variety of activity and movement.

  • Get out of your pyjamas! When you are not feeling well, you’re tired and you could just stay in bed all day, please don’t! It’s so easy to get stuck in that rut and then the days drag into weeks and months and you just get weaker and weaker. If the least you do in a day is to drag yourself out of bed, clean your teeth, get dressed and brush your hair – you’ve done well. Give yourself a simple daily “must do” routine and commit to looking after yourself!

So the truth is that a movement program takes effort and commitment, however the benefits are immeasurable and the alternative is very scary. Getting started may not be easy but you just have to do it if you want to relieve your pain long term.

How to sit for pain free posture

Are you aware of how you sit? It might be causing you pain and creating bad posture.

Often lounge and TV chairs are made to look good, but they may not be the best for your back. They may tilt your back too far backwards and if they are too soft, you can really sink into the seating and then find it difficult to get up from that position. So while soft seems so inviting, in reality it may not be good for your back.

The ideal chair is one that allows you to keep your back relatively straight and vertically aligned. Generally you should be sitting slightly forward on your hips and tailbone – not leaning backwards with your spine past vertical. Push your buttocks into the back of the chair so you are sitting upright.

Extend and pull up through your spine – don’t sag into the chair and allow your rib cage to collapse onto your stomach and hips. Pull up through the crown of the head and rest your hands on mid thighs (not clasped together or crossed in front of your chest). Shoulders should be down and relaxed to help keep an open chest with your elbows hanging vertically.

posture chair bw.jpg

Chairs that tilt your spine back will make you (unconsciously) push your head and neck forward so that your body can find a centre point of gravity. Your body has an inbuilt balance mechanism that means when your body is tilted backwards, your head will automatically come forward to compensate. As soon as that happens, neck and shoulder muscles strain and tighten, circulation is affected and pain can be initiated or increased.

Most lounge chairs today are plush and you tend to sink deeply into the seat – I avoid those chairs because I know they can trigger my back and I want to stay pain free. Soft chairs can be a trap for people who end up sitting all day and maybe falling asleep in the chair. For many pain conditions, being ‘lazy’ and sitting all day can have painful consequences. If you have back issues, you should choose wisely how, where and how long you sit.

People also come with different leg and spine lengths so one chair design is not ideal for all. For example a too high chair can press on the hamstrings, the back of the legs of a shorter person and over time can compromise circulation and lymphatic drainage. This can result in tight calves and swelling of the feet and ankles. Pick a chair where your legs are not swinging but your feet comfortably reach the floor (or use a foot stool). Also flex your feet and stretch your legs regularly while seated to avoid circulation problems.

If you have back, hip or knee pain, and the length of the chair seat is too long, you may have difficulty getting out of the chair suddenly. Or if you’ve been sitting far back into a chair, do not stand up immediately from that position. First, bring yourself forward horizontally towards the front edge of the seat until you can get your feet firmly on the ground. Tighten your core or stomach muscles, lean slightly forward over your knees and then rise. Stand for a few seconds for your circulation to equalise and to regain your balance before you move away. Stop and visualise what you want to do next and then move – no need to rush. Do not jump up quickly from a chair that is not optimal for you.

If you go somewhere and the chairs don’t suit then stand up and walk around. Don’t allow other people to dictate that you remain seated and put your back at risk. Stand off to the side or at the back so that you can move unobtrusively and protect your back. 

You might think that sitting in chairs is simple because it is something we do all the time and often for many hours a day but it can be the number one thing that it is triggering your back or leg pain.

Do you need to improve your sitting habits?? Let me know how you go with these tips.

Reset and Recharge!

  • Do you feel you are ready for something greater but not sure what that might be?
  • Have you always wanted success and know you were meant for more but not sure how to get there?
  • Do you feel disconnected from your life or business?
  • Are you looking for deeper connection with women at your level?
  • Are you ready for a “break” for a few days to reunite with your authentic self while relaxing and doing yoga, and meditation?

Join me along with Sharon Jurd and Venessa Nickless at our Reset and Recharge Retreat! It’s an exclusive retreat on the Gold Coast for women looking to reset and recharge their life.

This event is an interactive, live event where you will learn transformational skills that can change your life and reconnect with the version of you that you were born to be.

You can transform your life, make an impact, and live the life you want.

This may seem far-fetched right now BUT it is possible.

What you need to know is the “HOW” to be able to live the life you want.

At this 3-day retreat, you will experience the process that will help you make a transformation that will have an impact in your life and business.

Having a deeper transformation from within will give you the forward momentum to live an inspirational life.

In this 3-day transformational retreat, you will learn:

  • How to let go of your blocks and design your amazing future
  • How to bring massive positivity into your being
  • How to visualize and attract what you desire
  • How to find the peace and calmness inside of you
  • How to love your life and what it brings
  • How to attract success and abundance
  • How to ‘Step Up’ and “Show Up” as your authentic self
  • How to access your Soul’s Path
  • How to quiet your mind and tap into your ultimate mind, body, spirit and soul

This event is for women who are looking for connection to other like-minded successful women, ready for massive transformation, open to being vulnerable in order to reach their full potential, and deserving of three full days of fun, connection, transformation and rejuvenation.

Join us at the stunning Mantra Legends on the Gold Coast, October 14th to 16th 2022. Spots are filling up fast, so please book early!

For more info and to apply, go here and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

DIY Muscle Rub Oil Blend

DIY Muscle Rub Oil Blend

If you are feeling stiff or have tight muscles, you can personalise your own relaxing muscle rub oil blend to use on the stressed areas.

My favourite recipe uses Young Living Essential Oils:

  • Ten drops of Release
  • Ten drops of either Stress Away, Valor, Wintergreen, Marjoram, Rosemary or Peppermint
  • 1/4 cup of cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil

Mix together well and store in a small sealed container, preferably a dark, glass bottle.

You only use a small amount at a time so your personalised mix will last for many applications.

Try it out and let me know how you go!

For information about Young Living Essential Oils, please click here.

The 1% Method for Making Changes

Are you trying to make some positive changes in your life?

Are you trying to reach a goal?

How’s it going for you?

Are feeling feeling overwhelmed, stuck and about to give up?

I have been there and know how it feels.

But I have a great technique for you to try – The 1% Method!!

It’s so easy to implement into your day and you can achieve your goals and make lasting change.

It’s a method I use in my life to great success.

Give it a go and please let me know how it goes for you.

If you need extra help and support, I am here for you. Please get in touch!

Do you have ‘text neck’?

If you are on your phone a lot, your posture might look like this and you may have ‘text neck’!

Poor phone posture can create problems like these:

👉 pain, stress and tightness in the neck and back

👉 headaches

👉 limited range of motion in the neck

👉 rounded shoulders

👉 slumped posture 

👉 respiratory problems 

Do you think the lungs can fully inflate and allow you to breathe easily if the head is down (constricting the throat and airway) and you are constantly slumped forward, crowding and compressing the lungs and organs in the trunk of the body?

For short periods of mobile phone or tablet usage, hold the device up to eye level, keeping your spine and neck straight as possible.

For longer periods, you may need to prop your device on a stand or use it at the table or desk to get it close to your eye level and not have to tilt your head down. 

Be creative, do whatever it takes to use your device in a comfortable and good posture position.

Of course, I can help your posture with Bowen Therapy too! 

Homemade Mould Cleaner

Homemade mould cleaner, diy mould spray

Many households around Australia are struggling with mould at the moment due to prolonged rainfall.

This homemade mould cleaner is easy to make up and will help you get rid of mould and prevent it coming back.

Use a mask when you are cleaning mould to prevent inhaling any mould spores. It’s also recommended to use an old cloth that you dispose of after cleaning to avoid spreading the spores.

Dry the area thoroughly afterwards and try to keep your house as dry as you can. You may need to investigate further if there are any ongoing issues with leaks.

Homemade Mould Cleaner

20 drops Young Living clove essential oil

20 drops Young Living tea tree essential oil

2 capfuls of Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner

1/2 cup white vinegar

Add everything to a 500ml glass spray bottle. Top with cooled water from the kettle and shake well.

Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about Young Living products.

Recipe Credit: Jo Bogle 

Case Study: Sexy Back!

I wanted to share an interesting case study with you as this is not my only client I have seen with the problem of ‘sexy back’!

A young female in her early 20s, was having a lot of trouble with her lower back and sciatic nerve. She’d already been hospitalised several times with the pain and there was talk of back surgery but she’d been told to lose weight before that could go ahead. She’d tried other therapies with no relief and then a friend of hers (a client of mine) had told her to see me.

There was structural misalignment in her lower spine and hips – she had grown up on a property and used to ride horses, had several falls, but now worked at an office in the city. She wasn’t getting any physical exercise and her muscle tone was very poor. However she responded quickly with her first Bowen session and had significant relief.

She was very excited to be able to move with substantially less pain.

I spoke to her about needing to rebuild muscle tone to support the corrections, suggested some gentle exercises she could do at home to support her recovery.

Her second session also went well and we got further improvement to the stage where she was no longer in pain. She hadn’t however chosen to do any of the exercises or stretches to help herself. I explained again the importance of building and maintaining muscle tone to keep pain free.

Her third treatment was totally different. She came in limping and in severe pain. Her father came in this time with her. She told me she had been great, no pain and full mobility until the weekend, then something had gone drastically wrong – she didn’t know what.

Her father sat out in reception while I helped his daughter but as I came out of her clinic room he grabbed me.

“She’s been going really well coming here but it’s her husband.” he whispered.

“He works away on shifts but he came back over the weekend. A long weekend, it’s too much sex or what he makes her do. It’s happened before but she won’t listen!”

I knew it was possible and could see he was very concerned. Recent activity had made her pelvis unstable and because of her poor muscle tone and lack of fitness she was back in trouble. 

So if you are in a similar situation, just be aware of ‘sexy back’.

There are positions where you can still have fun or a loving connection but not put your back at risk. Slow and supported tends to work better than fast and rough, and honest communication with your partner is important. Be conscious of positions that hurt or trigger your lower back pain and adjust accordingly.

Typically the person with lower back pain would take a more passive role and pillows can be used to support the back, hips or go under the knees, etc. Suggested positions depend on the type of pain and the actions that trigger it but may include seated using a chair or laying on the side and spooning.

Having a hot shower before sex can also be helpful and can loosen tight muscles, easing cramp and spasm. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or therapist for positions specific for your condition – they won’t mind, they would rather you use safe positions and stay pain free!

Are you you teetering on the edge?

Do you feel like you are teetering on the edge? Life can get stressful and overwhelming when change happens.

But what if teetering on the edge can be reinterpreted into something positive? Change is inevitable but you can make it work in your favour.

Please get in touch if you need any support in changing your mindset.