Musculoskeletal pain can significantly restrict a person’s life and their ability to function to their full potential. Whilst people love to be social and get together to walk, play sport or go to the park, if we are restricted by pain, it can affect our social lives, and then inevitably, our mental health. Pain influences our mood and personal wellbeing, creating feelings of anxiety, stress and worry. That is why there is a strong link between pain and mental health.
Pain is very real for the 6.9 million Australians living with musculoskeletal conditions. Whilst debilitating, the reality is that without pain management, a third (34%) of Australians who are impacted by chronic pain, will develop mental health conditions. As 30%–40% of people with chronic pain report major depression, the uncertainty of a full recovery results in feelings of despair and defeat. This creates a vicious cycle between our physical and mental wellbeing.
Osteopaths use manual medicine to treat patients with musculoskeletal pain. Osteopathy considers the pain and the person together to provide a personal therapy. As osteopaths, our task is to look for the main contributors to your pain. We then provide education, manual therapy and a management plan that is focused on how you can reduce your pain and prevent re- occurrence. We also help you to make a plan to manage your mental health during this time, including prescribing exercise, meditation, reducing unhelpful habits such as poor diet and alcohol. This may also involve referring you to your GP or psychologist if appropriate.
I would encourage those struggling with musculoskeletal pain and experiencing associated feelings of anxiety and depression to visit an osteopath. At Restore Health & Wellness we have experienced, professional osteopaths available 6 days per week.
To read more about how osteopathy can help you go to the Osteopathy Australia website at www.osteopathy.org.au.