With so many of us working and operating from home over the past year, you would think that chronic pain would subside – but many people will have continued to experience pain and looking to recover as they’re allowed to go out again.
Here, Miriam Daurat, Chartered Physiotherapist at Our Health Hub, discusses summer after lockdown and you can use it to improve your recovery:
“Persistent pain affects between a third to half of the UK population,” she said. “Healthcare interventions for people with persistent pain can include seeing a GP for pain medication reviews, physiotherapy and exercise, as well as things like acupuncture and dietary reviews. Access to these in-person services and outlets has been dramatically reduced in the wake of COVID 19.”
“Findings published in the British Pain Journal have established that, over the course of the COVID 19 pandemic, those living with persistent pain have experienced an increase in feelings of isolation, low mood and anxiety, a marked reduction in physical activity, as well as reporting more severe levels of pain. And this makes sense, of course, we would feel worse for not being able to help ourselves as we would otherwise.”
Miriam adds: “The important thing here is that you are not alone. Many other people are feeling much as you do but the good news is that summer is here. Everything is starting to open up and things are starting to feel more positive. It is normal to feel apprehensive about starting or returning to an increased level of activity when pain is a limiting factor. The most important thing is to listen to your body and not overdo it. Start small if you need to but check out activities local to you. Maybe there’s a Pilates class, a local pool or even a weekly walking group you could join with a friend.”
Miriam explains that daily activities are vital to recovery, too: “Getting outside in the sun boosts your vitamin D levels and having a healthy amount of vitamin D can help improve your pain levels. Remember that daily activities count too!”
Doing the laundry and making the bed are all things to applaud yourself for getting done. Gradually build up what you can do without your symptoms flaring and be kind to yourself.
Our Health Hub operates remotely to provide flexible support to help you develop a way to tackle the challenges of persistent pain through movement and exercise, encouraging the building of a healthy relationship with physical activity to best suit you and help reduce pain.