Young People Have Pain Too
Updated: Feb 5
Young Adults With Chronic Pain - Challenges And Difficulties
My blog questions the lack of emphasis, or urgency of preventing a young person’s life being ruined due chronic pain. I relate here the story of a 22 year old Carol. This is also an opportunity to describe, in some detail, one of the effective pain treatments I use at our Pain Anxiety Stress Clinic in Christchurch, New Zealand.
When we think about people with constant pain, pain that causes disability, depression and devastating effect on lifestyle we generally think of older people.
Today I want to consider what happens when a young person, say 19 – 29 years old, who have complex pain issues that start due to sports injuries, trauma, or worse idiopathic (no known reason) chronic pain.
Prevalence Of Chronic Pain
I thought it would be useful to find the prevalence of pain in this age group. There are figures for children and teens and also for older adults with an emphasis on joints and arthritis, but little about the age group in this article, although their lives can be strongly impacted by the experience of pain.
Normally we associate pain as more of an old person problem, as if we accumulate many things as we age – we acquire wrinkles, we often acquire medication and statistics tell us that more of us will have persistent pain. So much to look forward too!
What did you do in your twenties - constant visits to doctors?
Imagine, or remember your 20’s, a time of discovery, dreams and let’s face it often doing what you weren’t supposed to do, according to others. As my client who prompted me to write this article said “I’m always going to doctors, specialist and having medical tests."
"My friends NEVER go to the doctor”
This statement has stayed with me for over five years. Carol was only 22 years of age, approaching the end of her nursing studies at university and as you can see from the video very down, sad and anxious about the possibility of not completing her studies because of the worsening chronic back pain. This pain had caused her to keep delaying her practical on-the-ward part of her studies, a necessary part for this student nurse.
If you'd like to watch the video that shows the changes that can be made by using kinesiology therapy.
To help you understand the kinesiology therapy process, I’d like you to think about a pyramid. That multidimensional shape rising from the ground, larger base tapering to a point at the top. For this person’s story I need you to invert (imagine it upside down) that pyramid to understand why pain persists years after an injury has healed.
The pinnacle of this pyramid, inverted, is the start of her physical pain, when she fell and injured her back when she was 18 years old. But the reasons why this injury persisted were laid down when she was younger, her experiences and changes in her life.
We Have All Experienced Pain - We Understand Pain
It is interesting how pain, chronic pain that affects many of us, seems to be spoken about in a simplistic manner. In my years of treating chronic or persistent pain, nothing and no-one’s pain is simple. We understand a cut finger, a broken bone or even trauma or surgery – medical professionals, classify this, as acute pain – the type of pain we understand. We have injured the tissues of our body and the body then jumps into action with neutrophils, leucocytes and other cells to repair our injury, even causing unwanted swelling and redness in the process, your body’s “Doctor in Action”.
What do you do when pain from an injury doesn't go away?
But what happens when repeated visits to doctors, therapist, and exercise for months after this healing process is complete; make little or no lasting impression on your pain.
Let’s take a story break to find out more about an interesting approach to the treatment of persistent pain, often labeled, chronic pain.
22 year-old Student Nurse With Complex Pain Issues
Initially Carol (not her real name) was a naturopathic client with a wide range of health issues, really challenging for a 22 year-old woman. She had two naturopathic appointments before I introduced the more holistic kinesiology as I thought we needed to find the cause of the many health problems, particularly her chronic back pain.
Her health problems were too many to put in this short article, suffice to say, severe skin, digestive and urinary problems and such a painful back she was in danger not being able to complete her nursing practice as she found it too painful to stand up for any length of time.
When you have kinesiology at PASC, the varieties of treatments are vast, though it’s interesting to note that some clients choose (via muscle testing) a limited range of treatments. This was particularly noticeable when I referred to Carol’s notes. Bach Flowers, a range of flower essences, drops that work at an emotional level, were used in most visits.
Treating Physical Pain By Addressing Past Trauma And Blocked Emotions
Some of you may have heard of one of these remedies. Rescue remedy is well known, used throughout the world for emergency emotional aid, for trauma or other challenging times when we need to be ‘rescued’.
It is a combination of five other remedies, Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose and Clematis and useful to keep in your cupboard.
Dr Bach - "Treat The Whole Person"
Dr Bach was a Harley Street doctor in the 1930’s who felt that the medical treatments at that time was not taking into account the true nature of illness and poor health. He believed that the whole person needed to be taken into consideration. Little did he know that he was a trailblazer, as today much is spoken of the need to use the biopsychosocial model of health care, through I question if this idea is permeating to the every day level of general medicine.
For more history of the Bach system www.bachcentre.com/new/en/remedies/
As I mentioned the pyramid above; here are some of the “seeds” of her chronic pain.
Some of the challenges that we discovered during therapy were: -
· When 12, a younger brother was born at the same time she moved to senior school.
· Another school change at 8 years of age.
· The back injury at 18 when she was out with her friends and fell, leaving her with severe back pain for the next four years.
To help understand the philosophy behind the work we do at PASC, I thought it would be useful to give the details of one of Carol’s consultations.
If you find it raises more questions than answers then do have a look through my website or get in contact with me in Christchurch.
An Example of a Kinesiology Therapy Consultation
Bach Flower Balance
This consultation, Carol’s treatment was at 17 years of age (for privacy I do not include any emotions involved), muscle checked (MC’d) to select the following essences and corrections needed to accompany each essence. (See glossary at end of article for explanation of terminology)
To help understanding how emotions are enmeshed with physical pain I include a brief description about Bach Flower Essence used by Carol.
White Chestnut - Bach Flower Essence for Anxiety
Worrying thoughts, that go around and around in our mind. They constantly intrude into our mind and stop us concentrating.
This remedy can help us think straight, being able to deal calmly and rationally with the underlying problem causing the endless thoughts.
After Carol had taken drops, I identified the left hip was holding the emotions relating to the white chestnut.
Holly - Bach Flower Essence for Jealousy, Envy and Spiteful
This remedy revolves around very negative feelings, aggressive feelings towards others, jealousy, envy or even feeling spiteful or suspicious. Dr Bach suggests this is due to unhappiness or an absence of love.
The essence holly helps to create a generosity of spirit and openness towards others.
Bodywork on soleus, calf muscle then Rhythmic Movement Training (related to childhood development reflexes)
Beech - Bach Flower Essence for Overcritical and Intolerant
People who are constantly making criticisms, they lack compassion and understanding of others sometimes their intolerance can cause outbursts of irritability.
These drops help them see more good and beauty around them and have more understanding of others, what the do and how they live.
Golgi tendon on hamstring muscle massage, adjustment and relaxation.
Chicory - Bach Flower Essence for Possessive and Over-protective
These people are full of love and care for others to an extent that they become possessive, over protective but also expect to receive lots in return and not happy when they don’t therefore they may drive people away.
The drops help bring out a positive side to be able to give unconditional love, without ties.
Genogram for paternal grandfather for calcaneal apophysitis; energy work on her pelvic area, Cal flour tissues salts (indicated for loose or overstretched muscles)
Rock Rose - Bach Flower Essence for Panic or Terror
Being in panic, or terror can strike to such an extent that conscious thought and decisions almost impossible. As if your brain is frozen and cannot stop or control the feeling of terror. As in a panic attack.
This remedy provides calm and courage, so that we are able to forget our fears as we develop courage and resilience.
This essence was taken, followed by a relaxation time for the essence to be processed by her body.
How Kinesiology Works - A Natural Solution To Reduce Pain
Many of you will have had completely different kinesiology treatment, even though we were still addressing your pain. I thought it could be interesting to describe in detail one correction to illustrate how kinesiology can treat pain naturally.
This consultation described above was one of four consultations that were needed for her pain to be stopped and no longer interfering with her nursing studies. The resultant happiness as you can see in the video that I asked you to view at the being of this article.
Glossary of Kinesiology Terms
Balance - a kinesiology consultation is called a balance, as your body has its balance restored
Muscle checked – the process of communication with the autonomic nervous system and used to identify, corrections, age recessed or emotions involved.
Correction – an individual treatment from a kinesiologist toolbox or full range of treatments.
Holistic Natural Pain Clinic in Christchurch
Article written by Jean Jordan, Owner and Director of Pain Anxiety Stress Clinic, located in Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Following COVID Jean has a new online business that aims to bring self-help techniques and ideas to everyone who is suffering with chronic pain, regardless of where they live.
To read about her many ideas and informed education from her 20 years in practice with clients in New Zealand and Australia, as a holistic practitioner being an advocate of holistic pain solutions and helping people escape for the endless pain that threatens to change their lifestyle.
To get in touch with Jean (if you're not in Christchurch, NZ) find out more about her pain-less journey and find out how to help yourself reduce your pain.