The following video is entitled “Why Things Hurt”. The presenter in the video is Lorimer Mosely who is a neuroscientist in Australia. He describes several interesting pain experiments in which a person’s pain perception is altered by changing the context of pain. Lots of cool stuff here.
The highlight for me is the last 90 seconds of the video.
The presenter talks about chronic pain and how the perception of pain is is different over time. He says that over time the brain loses its ability to perceive pain precisely and specifically. This is exactly what I see in the clinic, if a person has been experiencing pain chronically, his or her perception of pain is altered. Remember, if you have been in pain for longer than 3 months you are experiencing chronic or persistent pain. With chronic pain, it is more complicated than just tissues healing.
One really important way that we can manage pain is to have some control over it. When a person realizes that he or she can affect their pain levels with activity it is empowering. This is the most important way that a physical therapist can help with chronic or persistent pain. There are usually movements or activities that will allow people to feel better. Incorporating these activities into daily living is hugely helpful in managing chronic or persistent pain.
Jesse Elliott, DPT, Licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy with Siskiyou PT
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