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PNE+ Pain that is understood is not to be feared



Finally, we are completing the foundation of chronic pain with the last pillar, and my personal favorite: Pain Education.


We have gone over cardiovascular fitness, prescription being about 10 min at 135 BPM. Meaning the timer starts at 135BPM and stays there for a minimum of 10 minutes. This will flush your system with fresh blood,


decreasing nerve sensitivity.


Goal setting with SMART goals. Specific and multiple steps leading to your main functional goal.


Sleep hygiene, which is the most important. Setting a quality sleep schedule is paramount to cleaning the bran and the body.



I love teaching about pain and the body using Pain Neuroscience Education, or PNE. We also add a (+) at the end to include exercise, modalities, and any other method we can find to minimize pain. PNE+ uses metaphors and stories to help explain complex physiology.


One of my favorite stories goes like this:


If you stepped on a nail would you like to know about it? The answer is yes. Why do you think it’s important to know about the nail? Because it’s an injury which requires attention. The pain response is the body sounding the alarm and sending a warning signal to the brain, and the brain saying “Oh boy, yep we need to check that out a bit more.” Once you see the nail and have it removed, the pain should reduce, but it doesn’t go away. What we expect is as the injury heals, the pain reduces, and eventually, we don’t experience any pain in the area.

The pain experience doesn’t always play nice, however. It can get caught in a loop where the pain may get worse and the nerves become extra sensitive. This is where physical therapy comes into the picture.

This imaging is courtesy of Louw and EMI

The above image tells a nice story about how we may stay sensitive which eventually limits how much we can do before the pain response kicks in.


I am sure you have heard the expression “motion is lotion” and it is absolutely true. The body wants to move and produces its own joint lubrication, while the brain produces its own pain killers (check out the cardiovascular blog post.) The opposite of motion is lotion, is “rest is rust.” Not only does the body become more resistant to movement, and the nerves become more sensitive to change, the brain remaps itself, a process called neuroplasticity.


Starting and promoting neuroplasticity is the foundation of PNE+. We need to change the way you think about pain. We want to keep you from getting caught in the loop and on the road to recovery. I don't just want to make you feel good, I want you to say you are better.


I have one goal when providing education. ‘PAIN THAT IS UNDERSTOOD IS NOT TO BE FEARED’


Be kind to yourself


Rob

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