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Did you know, it is estimated that 1 in 4 Americans experience some form of persistent pain. Patients with chronic pain want to know: why do I hurt, will it get better, is there any hope, what can I (the patient) do for it and what can you (the clinician) do for it? These questions can be answered by your physical therapist.
Here are a few misbeliefs about pain:
1) Belief that pain is always bad: FALSE, pain can be a good thing to warn the body to get out of a hurtful situation. For example, touching a hot stove, the pain signal sent to the brain tells the brain to control the hand and take it off the hot stove.
2) Belief that all pain must be gone before engaging in normal activity and movement (and therapy): FALSE, movement is often what the body needs to help heal itself. Your painful area needs movement to increase blood flow and provide healing nutrients that area.
3) Pain only occurs when you are injured: FALSE, you don’t have to be injured to have pain nor do you always have pain with injury. Example, you may have a bruise but you don’t remember the injury, the tissue was damaged but there was no pain. However, an individual who may be dealing with depression can be in severe pain, but there was no initial injury. Ultimately, the brain is in charge of pain in the body, signals sent to and from the brain play a large role in an individuals’ pain level.
4) Chronic pain means an injury hasn’t healed properly: FALSE, a previous injury may be healed but there is consistent, constant chronic pain because the nervous system has been ramped up and more easily excited, which means pain is more easily increased. This can also mean that when an individual is more stressed, tired, worried and/or anxious pain levels could be higher.
If you have questions about chronic pain ask your physician if therapy is right for you. Newman Therapy Services have two experts in Pain Science Education who would love to help you.
Picture from: https://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-health/2016/12/16/improved-chronic-pain-treatment-should-stem-from-improved-pain-assessment/