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Mindfulness and Pain

Mindfulness is the hot discussion topic for day number two of Women’s Health week. Research has shown that Mindfulness can be effective in helping us manage depression and anxiety. It can help to decrease stress, worry and anger.

But what is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about paying more attention to the present moment, being aware of what we are doing and where we are, without being distracted by the busy world around us. Mindfulness allows us to clear the mind and become responsive rather than reactive to situations.

Anyone can practice mindfulness!  Follow these simple tips to introduce mindfulness into your day:

  • Eating mindfully – enjoy your eating savouring each mouthful and away from screens, on the move or not at all
  • Daily mindfulness activities – use a daily task such as having a shower, catching the bus to be present to the moment
  • Walking mindfully – focus on your pace and breath while engaging your core and pelvic floor and enjoy the outdoors which can bring so much joy!

How can Mindfulness affect my pain levels?

Many people experience pain at some point in their lives but for those suffering from increased levels of stress, anxiety or depression these symptoms can be particularly intense and difficulty to manage. A review of the research found mindfulness can help reduce pain and depression symptoms and improve quality of life.

Best Treatment for Knee OA

A new clinical care standard for the treatment for knee OA has been released by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care earlier this year. The standard states surgery should be a last resort for knee OA and exercise, weight loss and the use of pain relieving medication should be the gold standard treatment.

Knee Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease in which the cartilage lining the joint begins to wear and the joint space begins to narrow. It can cause pain and disability making daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs and squatting difficult. Patients who are overweight have double the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, and obese patients have four times the risk.

Osteoarthritis affects about 2.1 million Australians and costs nearly $1.8 billion per year. Knee osteoarthritis is common particularly in over 45 year olds.

The ACSQHC has recommended a thorough assessment and clear diagnosis by your health professional without the need for an Xray or MRI. From this your health professional will develop a tailored program including education, exercises and weight loss guidelines to assist in the reduction of pain and disability. Only if conservative management has failed to improve your symptoms is surgery recommended.

The Commission’s Clinical Director Dr Robert Herkes said “it is crucial that clinicians provide patient education and help patients with knee osteoarthritis develop a tailored self-management plan to set realistic goals for reducing pain and to improve their participation in day-to-day activities.”

Our team at Physio On Miller can develop an exercise program and self-management program to assist in your knee OA.