There has been extensive research into pain. Pain education is a popular approach for persistent pain. This involves learning about a variety of pain concepts that are thought to be important to a persons recovery. Little is known about what patients value in learning about pain. In a recent study, a mixed-methods survey was conducted to identify pain concepts that were valued by people with persistent pain who improved after a ‘pain science intervention’.
The answers from people whose pain improved following the intervention was analysed, and three themes were constructed from the results, and identified the reasons why pain or belief around pain had improved.
Pain does not mean my body is damaged
- 89% of people with persistent pain rated the information; ‘pain is a protective feeling, not a measure of tissue health or damage’ as VERY IMPORTANT.
- “I have stopped worrying as much because I can see I am not injuring myself”
Thoughts, emotions, and experiences affect pain
- Participants acknowledged that pain is multifactorial, rather than the result of a single biomedical cause.
- “My pain system is being too sensitive because of all the stress and illness in my life and worry”
I can retrain my overprotective pain system
- 99% of people with persistent pain rated the information ‘our body learns pain so that we can end up getting pain when things are not actually dangerous. We become overprotected” as VERY IMPORTANT.
- “The idea of training my pain back to normal makes a lot of sense and I think learning how to do that has led to my improvements so far.”
This study proves that providing education around injury and pain is paramount in supporting a person’s recovery.
At Beneco, we empower recovery through positive change. We offer patient-centred conceptualisations and language to our clients that allows people to move past their injury and return to a productive life.
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