The ProSport Physiotherapy Pain Management Ladder

At ProSport Physiotherapy, we are all about getting you out of pain. Pain is a highly individual experience, and therefore everyone’s pain will have different answers. There is no one size fits all approach, but these 4 steps are imperative for all of our clients to pass if they are to take complete control of their pain.
Step 1 – Education – Know pain, or no gain!

One of the most important components to overcoming pain is getting to know how pain works. Hurt does not mean harm, and pain does not mean that there is any physical damage. Think of pain as a warning signal – your brains way of checking if you are ok. If the brain perceives a threat, it will make us feel pain so that we can check ourselves. Taking this into consideration, if we learn about pain physiology and how pain actually works we reduce its threat value, and if we can understand why we are in pain it is much easier to do something about it!

Pain is also linked with our past experience and psychosocial environment. How often have your heard someone talk about there ‘bad shoulder’ or ‘dodgy knees’. If we have previously injured an area, our brain remembers. Recurring pain is often its way of helping us avoid making the same mistake twice!

To fully understand this point, watch the video to the left, where one of the worlds leading pain experts, Lorimer Moseley talks about why things hurt.

Step 2 – Find the Cause – full body analysis

The next step to getting you out of pain is figuring out what is driving your pain signals. This is where we can really help, as it is often a build up of neurological, structural and physiological changes over time in response to previous trauma that leads to our brain giving us these painful signals. We will go through your injury and body history and address any dysfunction, bringing your body back into a state of relative neutrality.


treat the body as one
Step 3: Graded Exposure

The body craves movement. All of the tissues in the body are designed to move, and as corny as it sounds, motion is lotion! Once we understand our pain, and have started to address the dysfunctions that are driving it, it is time to start moving properly again.

Step A. Pick an activity you want to do more of (e.g. walking)

Step B. Find your baseline – the most of that activity you can do without flaring up (e.g. 5 mins walking). A flare up is a severe increase in pain that leaves you debilitated for hours or days.

Step C. Plan your progressions. For example, if you can walk 5 mins without pain, add on 15 seconds each day, until you get to your next goal (e.g. 7mins).

Step D. Don’t flare up, but don’t panic if you do – just take a step back and progress at a steadier rate.

Step E. Take your time to get it right. Make progressions, set specific goals and stick to them

Step 4: Body awareness

The next step in pain management is becoming more aware of your body. Are you walking with a slight limp, sitting towards one side, turning your feet when you stand? Find out what positions are giving you problems and address them appropriately. If you are unsure, then get a check up before it becomes a problem. This step is essential if you are to take complete control of your pain, and will help you stay pain free even after your physiotherapy treatment ends. By the time you finish a stage of treatment you should know your triggers and warning signs, and how to address them before they become a problem.

Whether it is an acute ankle sprain or a 10 year history of chronic low back pain, these 4 steps don’t change. While the management and specific exercises will be different from person to person depending on their history, the basics will stay the same – understand why you are in pain and what’s causing it, address the specific issues, then get moving again with more awareness and control of your body than ever!

Contact Us By Any Means That Suits You Below:

Tel: 01484 443173 / 07850128386

Text: 07850128386


We look forward to helping you soon…




Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
deep tissue massage in huddersfield