My life finally changed six years into my struggle, when I found an amazing physical therapist who was able to help me understand my pain.
Tim had been trained in a relatively new approach to chronic pain treatment, called pain neurophysiology education.
This approach is based on the idea that learning how the nervous system works can change how a person views his or her pain. Pain normally operates outside of our conscious control, but with a little bit of knowledge, the patient can begin to control how he or she responds to it. This can help to weaken the vicious cycle that people with chronic pain are caught in.
In this section of the blog, I will be discussing some of the things I learned in treatment, and how I incorporate them into my own life.
The main concepts of this approach:
How a physical therapist helped me through my lowest point:
Part 1: Hitting rock bottom
Part 2: Finally, an approach that made sense
Part 3: Why we need different treatments for acute vs. chronic pain
Part 4: When the brain thinks everything is dangerous
Part 5: At the intersection of pain and mental health
Part 6: Readjusting my concept of what is “dangerous”
Part 7: The importance of exercise that doesn’t increase pain
Part 8: Conclusion, and looking to the future