There is a myth that I need to clear up. Sometimes, when you have chronic pain or a health condition, you’ll be diagnosed as ‘mild’. This might make you feel like your pain experience doesn’t match your diagnosis! So I want to explain the problem here.
Why you might be classified as ‘mild’
From a medical perspective, you might be classified as mild. Health practitioners don’t diagnose you off your experience, because we can’t really measure that.
Instead, it can be a bit of a maths equation. It might include the number of symptoms, the severity of those symptoms, the level of disability that you experience and the physical damage or severity that can be measured. Every condition has different measures, so there might be other factors as well.
So for example, if you experience daily chronic pain, but you can still work, you don’t have additional symptoms and there is minimal damage to the tissues, you might be considered mild.
You might not feel like that pain is mild! And it’s not. Chronic pain of any level is still painful. It doesn’t mean that your pain isn’t ‘bad’ enough. Being in pain sucks, no matter who you are or what your diagnosis.
If this is something that you’ve come across, here are some ways that you can take action and turn it around:
Ask your professional for explanation
When you see your health practitioner, ask them why you are given a mild diagnosis. If you have a good health care team, they will happily explain to you the reason.
By understanding more about your condition, you will feel more empowered. But by asking about it, you also won’t feel like your health team is underestimating your experience. And that can make a big difference for your mental and physical wellbeing.
Track your symptoms
If you feel like you still don’t fit the ‘mild’ diagnosis, keep a tracker of your symptoms. Sometimes, when you experience chronic pain, you can get some pretty nasty brain fog! So you might forget symptoms you’ve had that could change it.
Remember: your experience is still valid
No matter what label is placed on your condition, how you feel is still important. I have clients with ‘mild’ conditions, but they have still experienced terrible symptoms.
To me, it’s more important to help you feel better in your body than to treat a condition. After all, it’s the only home you have in this lifetime.
Want to work with a myotherapist that understands that mild doesn’t mean mild? At Simple Wellness Myotherapy, I focus on working with those who experience chronic pain and conditions. We work with your body to get it functioning as best it can. To book your appointment, pop over here.
Is myotherapy painful if it's done 'right'? Should massage hurt in order to be effective? These are the sorts of things I get asked all the time. As a practitioner with a strong interest in the world of chronic pain, I get very passionate about this topic. So apologies for the rant ahead!
Somewhere along the line, people started to equate pain and gain. It's in the workplace, in the gym, and now even on the treatment table.
There are many who think a 'good' massage or myotherapy treatment should make them wince. They think that:
But is this really the case?
Does pain really equal gain? I don't think so – particularly not for people already in pain.
If you're already experiencing pain, your nervous system is already on overload. And that means you're already vulnerable to more pain. Pain is not a healthy thing in large amounts!
In fact, when your body experiences pain, you'll have:
I don't know about you. But I think that if you walk out of a chronic pain treatment with more inflammation, fewer nutrients and more stress – it might not be a good choice for your healing.
On the other hand, a gentle treatment that lowers stress hormones and inflammation might be just what you need.
Can you have a pain-free treatment?
I believe that you can have a low-pain, if not completely pain-free myotherapy treatment. There's a few ways you can make sure that this happens:
You might still experience some sensations like tenderness on trigger points, or mild discomfort during a stretch. But that's not quite the same as pain – I'll explain in a later post.
Are you still worried about pain during a treatment? I want to hear your concerns and let you know how I can help. Send me a message, and we can talk about how to keep you pain-free.
Ready to get yourself a gentle AND effective treatment for your pain? Pop on over to the booking page to get started.
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.