fbpx

A Clinical Perspective on a Pain Neuroscience Education Approach to Manual Therapy

- Welcome, SoundTherapy.com lowers anxiety 86%, pain 77%, and boosts memory 11-29%. Click on the brain to sign up or share with buttons below to help others:

A Clinical Perspective on a Pain Neuroscience Education Approach to Manual Therapy

Pain neuroscience education (PNE) is an educational strategy developed within the biopsychosocial model of care for people with pain-related musculoskeletal conditions that seeks to reconceive pain by understanding its multidimensionality. It takes into account neurophysiological, neurobiological, and sociological components of a patient’s experience of discomfort.

The pain neuroscience approach to chronic pain has long been seen as an educational strategy to help patients comprehend their suffering and reclaim lives. However, PNE also comes with its own set of challenges to conquer.

A major challenge of pain neuroscience education is informing patients about how the brain and nervous system can impact their experience of pain. To do this, patients need tools such as storytelling or metaphors that simplify complex ideas about how the brain reacts to different types of discomfort.

At the outset of pain neuroscience education, it is essential that both therapist and patient understand ‘central sensitization’ (CS). CS indicates that the patient’s brain produces warning signals even without changes to tissue damage or associated nociception.

This concept is essential in the patient-therapist relationship during manual therapy. It may be challenging for patients to accept that their therapist cannot cure their CS by performing manual therapy techniques on them, yet this expectation must be let go of.

To counter this message, therapists should emphasize that manual therapy is just one component of a holistic and multimodal approach to pain management. Doing so will increase patients’ trust in physical therapists who aren’t afraid to combine manual therapy with other non-invasive interventions such as exercise, activity, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

A therapist should be able to explain how a patient’s brain processes movement and why having an optimistic perception of their body’s motion is beneficial. This is especially helpful for those who have suffered an injury or surgery where there may be an underlying issue which is not immediately obvious to them.

A therapist should educate their patient on how their beliefs and expectations of physical health and body can shape how they experience pain. These misconceptions, commonly referred to as misbeliefs, need to be addressed in order to effectively treat them.

These beliefs and expectations can be a barrier to an optimal pain experience, leading to fear-avoidance and catastrophizing. In this study, physical therapists provided hospital-time PNE programs at high tibial osteotomies which significantly reduced pain catastrophizing when compared with patients receiving only rehabilitation services.

Furthermore, convincing patients that their CS isn’t to blame for their pain can be a daunting challenge, particularly if they have already received previous treatment for it. Gathering evidence to back up a patient’s claim that their CS is causing their discomfort is essential in improving acceptance and motivation to take action in order to find relief from symptoms.

Sign up here to try or learn about sound therapy that lowers anxiety, insomnia, pain, insomnia, and tinnitus an average of 77%.


- Welcome, SoundTherapy.com lowers anxiety 86%, pain 77%, and boosts memory 11-29%. Click on the brain to sign up or share with buttons below to help others:
SoundTherapy.com