This week is National Pain Week. So, some great research has shown that fearing pain is just not worth it!
The power of education has shone through again. In a recent randomised clinical trial performed by JAMA Neurology, results had shown there to be an increase in pain thresholds, reduction in disability, and improvement in mental and physical health when people were provided education in neuroscience.
Two groups with chronic spine pain were selected.
One group followed a physical therapy and general exercise program.
The other, provided with education in “pain neuroscience”. Here, they learnt about the following
* Neurons and synapses
* The ways in which pain is transmitted along nerve fibres from the spinal cord to the brain
* How pain changes the function of the central nervous system
It is important to note, that the second group also completed exercises closely with the education program. The main focus of the exercises was concentrated on function, rather than relief in pain.
In summary, it appears that pain neuroscience education, combined with cognition-targeted motor control training is more effective in improving pain, disability, mental and physical functioning.