Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How Chronic Pain Affects Your Family


By Joshua Iaquinto. | Physiotherapist |

Did you know, when you suffer from acute or chronic pain, others (especially close family members) can sense and feel it too. Humans possess mirror neurons that allow us to replicate what other people are experiencing (1). Side note, this is one of the main reasons why I don't watch horror movies, my brain can't figure out the difference between reality and cinematography scariness.

If pain is affecting you, who else is being affected by your pain?

Pain in the family can have a ripple effect — not only does it interrupt your life and challenge you to endure your pain, but it can also impact on your partner, children, family, and friends too.

The effect chronic pain has on your family has a lot to do with the amount of pain you are in, as well as how close your relationship is to each person in your life:



Partners of those experiencing chronic pain, develop their own challenges with their partner's pain. Obviously, there is a need and want to help the discomfort and pain that their partner is feeling, but often they can feel helpless as it is beyond their abilities to help. The supporting partner may need to do more for the hurt/sick partner in ways that can increase their own stress load. Things like, physically assisting to bed or the toilet, doing extra chores like cleaning, cooking or even taking up a second job to make up for loss of income.

These situations can put a strain on the supporting partners:

-    attitude

-    Behaviour

-    Sleep

-    relationship time

-    communication

-    Intimacy

Intimacy and communication can often suffer depending on the origin and severity of pain.



It’s difficult for children to see their parents in pain. Apart from the lack of understanding why their parent has pain, sometimes the child’s thoughts can unnecessarily worry and create beliefs that aren’t true, like believing a parent will get cancer or die because of pain when it may just be a temporary flu or injury. People who have pain for long periods can withdraw from contact with outside groups of friends, which can sometimes carry into the family circle. Children can also assume that they are the reason for the pain or the lack of family connection and develop emotions of guilt or anger.


Top 2 things that people in Pain can do to keep your family close:

1)    Communication

Family always want to know how you are feeling, so let them ask you and keep them updated with how things are going. Talking about the pain can improve the family unit, reduce feelings of isolation and improve overall communications within the family dynamic.  But, try to find the right balance between sharing and complaining, sometimes oversharing by complaining, or exaggerating, can lead to stress and feelings of helplessness for others.

2)    Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It’s surprising how others are willing and wanting to help you, if you ask them. Human’s inherently want to help other people. If you are like me, then you probably find it difficult to ask for help as well. Common issues why we don’t ask for help:

-    It’s a pride thing

-    you may suffer from an “I can do it myself attitude” or

-    you are embarrassed or ashamed

-    or you just have never said the words “I need help with….”

The trick to letting others, help you, is to ask for help. Often family does not know WHAT to do; they can't read your mind. If they knew, they would probably just do it. Simply, you’re going to have to overcome your hang-ups and just ask. FYI, helping the person in pain, also makes the helper feel special too, don't deny them the opportunity to share their love for you. 

Dealing with pain can be so much easier if these two simple steps are performed regularly.

Keep your loved ones loving you despite your pain by communicating and asking for help. is a Physio Clinic based in Gladstone, QLD. 

For pain relief today in Gladstone - Book online

1. Osborn, J., & Derbyshire, S. (2009). Pain sensation evoked by observing injury in others. Pain. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2009.11.007.



physio gladstone

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

What is pain? And why do you have it?

What is pain? 

Typically, pain it not associated with anything fun. In fact, it can be unpleasant, unrelenting and life changing. 

Most people have felt some form of pain in the body, whether its there everyday or only for a short period, really extreme or just minor.

Interestingly, it doesn't necessarily have to be physical pain (e.g back or neck pain), pain can be produced from varied emotional, environmental, behavioural, financial, and psychological stressors too.  

Do you live with pain?
Do you understand where your pain comes from?

Watch this video below:

This is a great, easy to follow video about chronic pain. It helps you understand what current research has been saying about chronic pain - thats its not a joint or muscle problem, rather a 're-wiring' of the brain perception of itself. In other words, the brain has become more sensitive than before.

Its my job to understand your pain, so I can help you defeat your pain. When's the last time you addressed your pain? Do you know where it is coming from and why?

If you don't, lets talk... 
Book an appointment - 5 min FREE -


Josh from

Sunday, 24 April 2016



Your health is very important to us. We do not only want to promote performance and appearance, but body and mind as a whole. Unfortunately, high intensity training methods such as Freeletics also come with some dangers that we want to make you aware of. One of these risks is rhabdomyolysis. This disease, in which parts of the muscles dissolve and lead to kidney failure, is indeed very rare. Only 1% of the diagnosed cases are caused by training, yet it is a very serious matter.
Anyone who is physically active, not only Free Athletes, should inform themselves about this topic in order to recognize the symptoms for themselves and others in case of emergency.

What is Rhabdomyolysis and what happens?

Rhabdomyolysis refers to the disintegration of muscle fibers in skeletal muscle. That is to say, the muscle begins to dissolve. This releases large amounts of myoglobin, which reach the kidneys via the bloodstream where it can cause major damage, including acute renal insufficiency. In this case medical attention is absolutely and immediately necessary!

This disease can be caused by a variety of factors. A distinction is made between traumatic, non-traumatic, load-dependent and load-independent rhabdomyolysis. Load-dependent rhabdomyolysis may develop from muscle damage that has come from over-strenuous physical activity or overtraining.

Although this type of rhabdomyolysis is extremely seldom and represents only about 1% of the diagnosed cases – which is a relatively low risk – we want to point it out, since the health of our Free Athletes is our first priority!
If you suspect having Rhabdomyolysis, please print the pdf file attached to the bottom of this page and take it to your doctor.

How do I know if I am affected and what can I do then?

Besides nonspecific symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and severe fatigue (which can all be signs of other diseases), swollen, soft, aching muscles are the clearest indication. Physicians and affected patients report severe muscle pain, which is in form and intensity clearly different from muscle soreness. As a final clue, when the color of urine becomes red-brown, you should consult a doctor immediately. It is at this point that acute renal failure is imminent or may already have occurred. The progression of the disease cannot be stopped by the athlete himself, which is why home remedies such as drinking a lot of water do not help in this case.

In general, everyone who trains beyond their individual limit, i.e. overtraining and ignoring warning signs such as exceptionally strong fatigue and aching muscles, can be affected. In most cases this applies to unfit people or athletes who want to return to their previous activities after a long break. But even experienced Free Athletes may be at risk. When the body needs a break, then listen! Don´t be too ambitious when things are going wrong, and don’t feel like you need to give in to group pressure! If you have a reasonable suspicion that you are affected by rhabdomyolysis, please consult a doctor immediately. Here is a checklist that can help you and your doctor identify the disease faster.

How can I prevent it?

First off, don’t panic! As mentioned above, rhabdomyolysis caused by (over) training is extremely rare.

Advanced Free Athletes already know their body and its limits very well and should continually work on improvement by setting new and higher training stimuli on an ongoing basis. Smart training is the only way to strengthen your muscles and body as a whole, thus reducing the risk of this disease. Nevertheless, health always comes first! For this reason we would like to point out again that you should never exercise with very sore muscles. Working out with sore muscles could serious damage muscle fibers and could trigger a kind of trauma in them.
Instead, focus on sufficient regeneration and actively promote it. Sufficient and high-quality sleep together with a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals are the alpha and omega!

What to avoid in any case:

Training in conjunction with alcohol, drugs, (strong) medication or during an illness should be an absolute no-go for any Free Athlete. This combination not only significantly increases the risk for rhabdomyolysis, but still holds many more dangers to your health, which cannot always be estimated. You should also avoid steroids, anabolic substances or ominous “power boosters” from the internet, of which very little is known about the ingredients.

Take care not to exercise at extreme temperatures – no matter whether cold or warm. The burden on the entire body is simply too large in excessive heat or at temperatures well below zero. Besides possible circulatory problems, inflammation of the airways and development of acute illness, the extreme circumstances mean that the body cannot efficiently handle the training stimuli. This can lead to false reactions in the body, such as the breakdown of striated muscle.In any case, with very sore muscles and at very extreme temperatures, exercise is no fun and so is best avoided.

However, the general rule is to listen to your body and your condition – always! As a Free Athlete it is particularly important to develop a certain awareness of your body and to always listen to your body, especially if it sends warning signals! Two of the most important and loudest warning signs are pain and severe exhaustion. They are the body’s way of telling us that its limit is reached – whether in training or even at rest. If you ignore these signals then you take a dangerous risk that is against the ideas behind Freeletics. Take training breaks if you need to, use your intelligence and quit if it is too much. But above all, if there are serious signs, go and see a doctor – better safe than sorry.