Physio tells ITV’s Tonight about links between emotional and physical pain

Emotional pain can manifest itself as physical pain, physiotherapy pain specialist Georgie Oldfield has told ITV’s Tonight programme.

Stress can increase pain and trigger it

In an interview scheduled for broadcast at 7.30pm on Thursday 28 February, Ms Oldfield says evidence shows that physiotherapists, and other health professionals, must focus on psychosocial factors, as well as physical factors, which affect pain.

She told Frontline: ‘One study, published by The Pain Journal in 2008, looks at why people have chronic pain after an acute injury when the tissues have healed.

Physiotherapy pain specialist Georgie Oldfield

‘It found that people went on to have chronic pain if they had greater exposure to past traumatic life events, depressed mood and early beliefs that pain may be permanent.

‘There is a mass of evidence to show that by the age of 50, 80 per cent of people will have spinal degeneration and 60 per cent will have a bulging disc.

‘But there has never been a correlation between the amount of pain someone experiences and any degeneration in their spine.’

Her aim during the broadcaster’s report was to raise awareness of the evidence base that supports the need to identify underlying causes when treating chronic back pain.

These include links between adverse childhood experiences and chronic pain in later life, she told the programme. As well as that, current stress can not only increase pain, but also trigger it.

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