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Tips to cope with Chronic Pain

They say women naturally have a higher threshold for pain, partly due to the fact that we go through the process of childbirth which is deemed to be one of the most painful experience. But can women truly have a different threshold for pain? Have you ever wondered why our body feels pain? What is the purpose of pain and why some times, you get pain during activities that are not usually painful such as sitting and working on your laptop?

The purpose of pain in a healthy person is to alert the brain and body that potential damage has occurred to the bodily tissues. Pain is considered as a protective reflex response to a physical stimulus (such as trauma). Hence, the bigger the injury, the greater the pain. Traditionally, it was assumed that all pain was a symptom of an underlying organic cause. Once the cause of pain is healed/ mended, the patient should be relieved of this pain.
If the cause of pain was not found, the patient was thought to be perhaps lying or imaging this pain.

But we now know that this is not always the case, because sometimes the pain that we experience is much more complex and different from the traditional pain where there is a actual tissue injury. We may experience pain suddenly with no apparent reason, does that mean the pain is “bad”? Pain in this scenario no longer serves its traditional purpose of alerting one to tissue damage.

“Normal” or Nociceptive Pain is pain that is proportionate to the degree of actual tissue damage. A more severe injury results in a pain that is perceived to be greater than that pain caused by a less severe injury. Such pain serves a protective function. Examples of nociceptive pain include acute burns, bone fracture.

“Abnormal” or Neuropathic Pain occurs through changes in the peripheral nervous system, especially during diseases involving damage/ changes to the nerves (nerve compression/impingement, cancer or diabetes) that leads to “impulses” being sent to brain that is then perceived as pain.
Likewise, damage to the central nervous system (involving the brain and/or spinal cord) can also cause non-painful sensations from the peripheral nerves to be wrongly interpreted as pain by the brain.
Finally, prolonged or increased exposure to painful stimulus may also cause changes to the central nervous system leading to the condition called central sensitisation where pain is disproportionate to the degree of tissue damage and can also persists even in the absence of continued tissue damage. Thus, neuropathic pain serves no protective function and provides no benefit to the overall health of the person.

Neuropathic pain patients may experience certain emotions especially when doctors and other healthcare professionals are not able to appropriately diagnose and recognise the cause of their pain. Such emotions include, feeling depressed and thinking that the pain felt is actually “all in the mind”; disappointment when others are not able to empathise with their ordeal; or even defeated when management for pain has been unsuccessful. A person can begin to think they need to ‘resign themselves to a lifetime of pain’.

Every one’s pain has a different cause; fortunately here are some personal coping strategies you can apply when dealing with pain.

Coping with one’s mood and emotions especially during pain exacerbation

  • Primary goals is to view pain as a controllable experience and decreasing the use of maladaptive coping strategies.
  • In the case of skill development, a new skill is introduced and patients are encouraged to develop and refine the skill during low pain periods before attempting to implement the coping skill during an actual period of pain exacerbation. The skill is shaped over time, so that the skill is gradually applied to increasingly challenging (i.e. painful) episodes as the individual becomes more proficient in that skill. A similar approach is taken to the application of many pain coping skills, including cognitive or behavioral distraction, relaxation, pacing of activities, and the appropriate use of social support.
  • understanding one’s cycle of pain and anticipating potential aggravating and easing factors/ actions
  • being positive and minimise negative thoughts such as “I’ll never get better!”, “Everyday it’s getting worse!” and “I should just give up and suffer the pain!”

Minimising one’s disability in terms of functional activities

  • start with graded exercise, and breaking an activity into segments to reduce fatigue. Once you have gained confidence in a specific part of activity, for example sitting over the edge of the bed and standing, in this case, having sufficient strength to lift your bottom over the bed, you can try getting out of chairs of different heights or bed of different firmness.
  • Every little success is still a success. Start practising with common activities that you frequently do at home, such as washing the dishes, standing and ironing clothes then gradually progress to brisk walking and other gentle sports.

Cultivating health behaviours (exercise, appropriate use of medications)

  • reducing reliance on medications (don’t start popping pills at the first sign of symptoms!). Frequent consumption of painkillers may gradually cause you to develop an increased threshold to its effects which leads you to increase your dosage or have to have a stronger form of medication instead.
  • always aim to reduce dosage of medications gradually. For example, having to take painkillers one pill a day. This SHOULD ONLY BE DONE AFTER THOROUGH DISCUSSION AND CONSENT FROM YOUR GP.

Coping a loved one’s pain

  • be supportive of your loved one’s attempts to manage their pain
  • trusting that their pain is real and it is truly upsetting even if you do not understand how they may experience such pain of such intensity
  • providing a listening ear to their complains may help to settle them down and increasing their confidence in managing their pain

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Theressa Lim
Theressa Lim
I had an excellent sports massage by Wan Ling, which was very different from the usual massage I've tried elsewhere. Wan Ling skillfully and systematically loosened every muscle in my upper back and neck over the course of an hour. If anyone is seeking relief from tense muscles, I would highly recommend making an appointment with Wan Ling.
Rebecca Lim
Rebecca Lim
Came to see Xue Ting with a broken shoulder for the last 6 weeks and was impressed with her attentiveness and ability to make me feel me feel comforted in my condition . Very dedicated and good therapist indeed .
Janet Koh
Janet Koh
They adopt a scientific and personal approach. The therapists put in a lot of effort to diagnose the issue before attending to it. Overall, I would strongly recommend their professionalism and methods.
Varun Sharma
Varun Sharma
Really good sports massage! Booking process was efficient too :)
Charmaine Miranda
Charmaine Miranda
Friendly and really professional service! I immediately felt welcomed the moment I stepped into the clinic! The physio offered me great advice beyond what I had asked, which allowed me to have a deeper understanding as to why I had my issue in the first place. With this kind of service, I would honestly recommend this physio if you are serious about getting better.
Jimmy Allen Poh
Jimmy Allen Poh
Thoughtful and sincere service. Highly recommended!
Benedict Koh
Benedict Koh
My mum received her first Apos treatment. We intend to continue until her hip muscles become strong. We believe in the treatment as we saw how amazing it was. The idea was simple. Really love that she can be herself again, for long term. The hip and knee cap operations offers 15yrs. Hence we reject the cost and short-life. My wish is that the treatment cost can be lowered and more are aware of this treatment. God bless and thank you team.
Victoria Soh
Victoria Soh
Look for Soo, he is a great physiotherapist . Always communicating and always asking for my feedback. I’m on the right path to recovery all thanks to Soo. Two thumbs up.
Daniel Wang
Daniel Wang
Xue Ting has been working on my troublesome QL, hip girdle - basically the whole left lower kinetic chain! She has been patient, strong and cerebral in her approach to my 48 year old compensatory mechanisms. Her strong massage will finish with an assessment of muscle imbalance and poor activation with finally a retraining back to healthy movement.I’m impressed! Thanks Core Concepts!
Brett McLaren
Brett McLaren
I went from barely understanding physical therapy for injuries, to highly recommending Core Concepts to friends and family for their aches and pains. Ken was knowledgeable, patient and explained symptoms and consequences in a simple, relatable manner. I hope more people will come to understand how physio is a much better alternative to short-term painkillers.
Manda Misso
Manda Misso
Ken is really amazing!
Terry Tan
Terry Tan
The physiotherapist here explained the problem very well and provided me with exercises that helped improved my condition.
Ferdinand Mar
Ferdinand Mar
I have been experiencing great pain on my shoulder coupled with occasional numbness on my arm. Thanks to Ken Liew, I felt so much relieved after my first session. He was very patient and knowledgeable and had definitely made my 1st visit to a physiotherapy clinic a very memorable one. Thank you so much Ken
Bee Choo Gian
Bee Choo Gian
I have been experiencing knee pains lately especially walking up and down the stairs. The pain was so bad that I was very concern. I chanced upon CoreConcept on FB and book an appointment with them at Camden Medical Centre. My therapist was Ken Liew, he is very professional and knowledgeable. He did a thorough job to assess my condition. To my surprise I felt immediate relieved on my knee after the first session with him! Amazing! Looking forward to my next session. 😊
Sandy Toh CH
Sandy Toh CH
Hi I am Sally and I am in my late sixties. I have endured a year of thigh(joint) pains and thought that it must be due to old age. Visited Core Concepts at Novena and after only 2 sessions, my condition improved so much that I was able to climb stairs easily again. THANKS to my Physiotherapist Samuel Ong who is extremely polite, professional and knowledgeable.
Shino Tutu
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I have had several sports related injuries and Core Concepts has saved me and put me "back to new" each times! The therapists are excellent - knowledgeable and professional, and the receptionists (Carol, Adiqah and Rin) are always friendly and helpful. They even give me oreo cookies for my children! :)
Paola Venturini Hubert
Paola Venturini Hubert
Highly recommended for sports massage
Simon Ray
Simon Ray
Extremely friendly staff and therapists! Folks Novena Square are just simply smiley and happy. Coming here towards the end of the work day always brings up my mood. Therapist and coach are fabulous. My condition improve so much that I can even start to train up some of my predominately unrealized problems. Highly recommended!
Von Ling Wei Hao
Von Ling Wei Hao
I go to Novena and Cheryl is my therapist. She was upfront from the get go about my neck condition. I liked her honesty and said we'll give it a try. I was better after 4 weekly sessions and continued to go to her every 2 weeks. With her help I am in a better condition, had to put in effort on the exercises she taught me as well.
Tania Chevrez
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Li Hoong is a very dedicated sports massage therapist and functional trainer. Her ultimate goal is the client's holistic well-being. Highly recommend.
Pei Yee Wong
Pei Yee Wong
i have tried different physiotherapy sessions with almost 10 physiotherapists in india and in Singapore, my back pain was treated well by CHERYLL, with God's grace , i was pain free only after Cheryll attended to me. Thank you Cheryll and core concepts for the great experience.
Madiha Sadiq
Madiha Sadiq
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YitKoon Gan
YitKoon Gan
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Sam Costanza
Sam Costanza
The best physiotherapist ever. Cheryl is really good. Doesn't shortchange me of time and make sure I feel better before she lets me go. The front desk staff are great too. Very accomodating and friendly. Thank you Carol and Farrah. Only thing if they can give instructions to how to go to their place will be great. Usually only unit number but do give some details like mrt exits and directions to lift and such will be excellent. Coz I almost got lost in 2 different places. Overall still love core concept because of Cheryl! Thank you Cheryl!!
Jeanette Goh
Jeanette Goh
Found out about Core Concepts last year through social media and made an appointment as i was experiencing some neck and shoulder discomfort after a traffic accident. My therapist was evidently experienced and was able to pinpoint the cause of my aches. The one thing i loved about my experience at Core Concepts is that they are not like typical physiotherapists who simply prescribe take home exercises, instead my therapist was extremely hands on, helping me to massage my neck at the right spots to relief the stiffness - best massage ever! Would highly recommend Core Concepts!!
Claire Chia
Claire Chia
Easily the best physio clinic I've been to.
Natarajan Baradwaj
Natarajan Baradwaj
The only physio clinic i trust! A unique approach to treating pains, you simply have to try it out for yourself. Have recommended many friends and family and core concepts has not disappointed. Thumbs up!!!
Claire Chia
Claire Chia
From the reception to the therapist, they are friendly and nice. I was taught on a 2 steps stretching to strengthen my leg muscles that I can do it myself daily and It did help :) Will recommend to anyone who wish to have therapy sessions.
Jaz
Jaz
Knowledgeable and brilliant!
Brenda Chong
Brenda Chong
-emails with advertisement and birthday wishes came, but they didn't think that their customer (with 4/10 sessions remaining in his package) would have expected a reminder of ANY kind if his package was already expiring. I asked the clerk from my last visit how many sessions I had remaining, and she told me 4, with no update on the expiry at all. -assumed I wanted a physiotherapy (PT) appointment when my past SMS have always been for sports massage (SM); whenever I asked for "available slots", they would give me the slots for SM. yet they suddenly gave me the list of available slots for PT ytd. I'm also to blame for not verifying and reading their long SMS carefully.-their masseuse is very good though, skilful and respectful. They ask important questions to understand their client before starting on the SM. I'd still return even though the administrative process is lacking.
Beale Liu JieXiong
Beale Liu JieXiong
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