Pain Education may be a new concept to many people however it is important to recognize the benefit as part of your rehab journey. Pain education takes into consideration how your nervous system is able to receive and process information. When your central nervous systems is incorrectly processing information it can cause heightened or persistent pain. This is
particularly common for those who have chronic pain. Many people with chronic pain are told there is nothing wrong or nothing more that can be done. It’s a terrible experience when you have seen multiple providers/specialists and no one is able to help. Many are left without any guidance or idea of how to manage their symptoms. Fortunately, we have come a long way in understanding pain.
One way to look at your central nervous system is to consider an Airport luggage scanner. Usually the alarm only sounds when there is a big threat aka a knife, gun etc. What if your airport scanner goes off for a pen? The alarm is real but the threat is not. What if the scanner is never reset to the proper setting? This is usually the first step in retraining your nervous system. Learning to recognize what is a real threat but unfortunately this isn't an easy concept. For the young healthy population this is particularly difficult since they have been encouraged to ignore their pain and push through. This reinforces their pain cycle and impacts their ability to address their persistent pain.
Our bodies are incredibly smart and will heighten the pain response to insist you pay attention. Typically this leads to worsening pain even with less activity. The longer you ignore the problem the larger and more complex the problem becomes. Just like a check engine light on your car, it's easier to get in for a small repair then wait for a multi-system fix.
It is critical to listen to your body and recognize when you need help. We are fortunate at Dynamic Performance and Therapy to all have a solid understanding of pain with a few of us specializing in successful treatment of those more complex individuals.
Like any health concept, Pain Education takes a while to fully penetrate culture norms and become widespread knowledge. Please reach out to our Dynamic physical therapists if you have any questions about Pain Education.
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