Pain patterns can often be a useful way of determining what is happening with your body and what the cause of your pain and discomfort may be. It is not a definitive diagnosis, simply a method by which factors can be included and excluded to form the correct diagnosis. So what is meant by pain patterns in this article? This is about daily and monthly pain patterns, i.e. when pain is felt, when it gets better or worse, and for what reasons.
The osteopath will often ask what your daily pain pattern is and may ask whether the pain get worse during the day or is it worst in the morning. This is to ascertain what type of condition you may be suffering from. There are, generally speaking, three main groups in to which these conditions are split in to…
Pain and stiffness in morning – these are generally inflammatory conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Pain is worst in the morning as you will likely have been sedentary laying in bed sleeping for the night. The joints in your body aren’t moving, so the joints can stiffen up and become painful in the morning when you wake up and begin to move about.
Pain and stiffness in evening or after use – these are conditions that cause pain when the joints have been used, and consequently the pain is felt in the afternoon and evening. Conditions such as osteoarthritisand osteoporosis can cause pain after time spent walking and moving, as the joints can become irritated and swollen after use.
Pain that comes and goes or on movement – this type of erratic pain is usually related to movement and is therefore related to muscular or ligamentous pain. Muscular pain will present on movement and is likely to be a sharp pain, whereas ligamentous pain, also on movement or when static in a non-neutral position, will likely be a dull aching pain.
It is therefore useful for both you and your osteopath if you can make a note of your pain patterns so that too much time isn’t spent on your first visit determining these bits of information, which are useful for diagnostic purposes.
If you have any aches and pains, it may be worthwhile coming to see us at Atlas Osteopathy (with clinics in East Finchley and Moorgate, as well as the option of home visits), where we can explain your problems to you, why they occur and whether or not you are suitable for osteopathic treatment. Often this can be done via email or on the phone.