Acute and Chronic Pain: Common Misconceptions

Updated: May 20




Recovery IS possible, and it doesn’t have to take forever.

Before seeking treatment for pain, people often hesitate, hoping the problem will go away by itself. I often meet new patients who’ve been dealing with stubborn, lingering aches for months, years, even decades, who believe they’re incurable. However, with accurate assessment and appropriate treatment, it is possible to restore the body’s balanced, pain-free state, and it can happen more rapidly than people realise.


Physio is sometimes better for you than painkillers, (and it doesn’t wear off in four hours).

Pain is the most common condition I treat at the clinic. Nevertheless, sometimes we get so used to soreness and discomfort that managing it just becomes part of our lives. It’s important to be aware that there are readily available methods of dealing with an injury which are far superior to the long-term use of analgesics. It saddens me to hear time and again that people never sought out any other type of support just because they didn’t know who to go to, what to do, or if it was possible to feel better anyway. Whether someone is seven or over 70 years old, a good physiotherapist can help, but the sooner the better.


Acute pain: Early treatment speeds recovery

After hurting themselves, people tend to forego therapy because they think it will take too long. Actually, most of the time, acute pain doesn’t require ongoing treatment; a few treatments targeting the problem might even be all that’s necessary to improve the injury. At the clinic it’s common to see individuals in physical distress, who’re resigned to weeks of pain. More than once, I’ve heard a new patient exclaim “My weekend is ruined!” However, seeing a physio as soon as possible usually means that pain will be reduced, and the injury will heal much faster than just waiting for the body to restore itself. In fact most of the time, if treated in the acute stage, pain and discomfort will disappear completely within one or two weeks. If untreated pain lingers for a longer time and becomes chronic, it also requires additional time to resolve.


Chronic pain: It can be improved

Those who have been hurting over a greater period usually need more ongoing attention. Chronic pain is often understood to be caused by some sort of damage, but this is not always the case. Patients are sometimes surprised to discover that what they believed to be the permanent source of their pain is actually exacerbated (or even caused) by something else that can be treated. A person who has a long-term issue might have a few regular sessions before we reduce appointments to every month or two. Reoccurring problems as well, can be managed to the point that they never again dominate or control someone’s life.


To understand what’s wrong, I need to hear your story

When people come in to see me, a key aspect of the consultation is our discussion. I listen to my patients and really try to understand what might have caused their pain in the first place. For chronic sufferers, I’m also looking for clues and information about what might be reinforcing the issue, as well as how they feel about it. A person’s view about their own body and conditon can influence how well and how quickly the person can recover.



I combine modalities to reduce pain even faster.

Although the goal is to restore the body’s full function and balance, minimising pain as much as possible is always my initial priority. To this end I use a combination of techniques alongside physiotherapy. I’ve found that a tailored application of mobilisation techniques, dry needling therapy and correction of movement patterns are most effective, as are certain procedures to improve strength, coordination and flexibility. These methods often produce a swift result, which in turn will always transform a person’s outlook. When one feels more optimistic about their quality of life and potential, one’s health improves more quickly.


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