The following pain management techniques can be used to alleviate common pains from birth to adults:
Birth to 2 Years
Massage therapy is a wonderful stress reliever for infants because it promotes a sense of comfort, makes them less prone to colic and can regulate their sleep cycle. Infants can also benefit from physiotherapy. Physiotherapists can assist with gross motor skills such as sitting, standing and walking, as well as improvement in flexibility, strength, and endurance. Infants learning to walk or experiencing issues with their foot turning out while walking can be taken through exercises to encourage standing and develop the skills required for walking. For infants with torticollis (neck tightness) or plagiocephaly (head shape challenges), Physiotherapists will perform stretching and positioning exercises. They may also recommend Craniosacral Therapy which is the use of gentle touch to manipulate joints — primarily the cranial and sacral bones.
Growing pains typically start in early childhood – around age 3 or 4 – and tend to reoccur around ages 8-15. Growing pains are a common cause of leg pain. These pains are muscle aches that occur in the thighs, behind and in front of the knees and the calves. There is also evidence to suggest that growing pains are related to a lack of magnesium in your child's diet. Magnesium is involved in over 300 cellular processes – when your magnesium levels are low, your muscles contract and cause symptoms such as muscle spasms. Around the age of 11, when kids transition from primary to high school, they begin to spend roughly six hours sitting at their desks which may result in them beginning to experience lower back pain. To alleviate lower back pain, Manual therapy may be recommended. This is a hands-on technique used to eliminate soft tissue inflammation and improve joint mobilisation.
During this time, your child may experience higher levels of stress from their exams, back pain from long periods of time sitting at a desk or job hunting. To relieve the effects of stress and anxiety, seek out a specialist who can assess your child's needs and suggest a recommended approach. Acupuncture is one option which has been shown to be effective in managing stress, anxiety, pain, discomfort, tension, irritability and insomnia. Core muscle conditioning is important as the core is the basis of your body’s stability. The core muscles are a group of stabilisers that include your lower back, abdominal wall, pelvic floor and diaphragm muscles. The main concepts of core training involve using many muscles in a coordinated movement.
Adults 18 Years and older
Adults also experience back pain — one in three people experience lower back pain every year. 90% of people recover from back pain in around six weeks, however for around 80%, back pain can come back. While it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause, there are several factors known to influence back pain including trauma, repetitive strain, emotional stress, excess weight and age. Manual therapy, such as spinal manipulation, mobilisation, acupuncture or soft tissue techniques can be used as part of a treatment plan including exercise, with or without the conjunction of cognitive behavioural therapy. A cognitive behavioural approach for managing lower back pain can also be used in conjunction with the above treatments.
For help with managing your pain, contact Synergy Chiropractic & Physiotherapy.