There was a story on NPR on Monday, January 13th about managing pain.
It mentions that increasing number of people are undergoing sometimes quite intrusive treatments for back pain. Often these treatments don’t relive the pain. However, the main premise of the story is the new methodology to manage pain instead of being afraid of it. Research is showing that the pain often has nothing to do with the mechanics of the spine, but with the way the nervous system is behaving, according to Dr. James Rainville of New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. Dr. Rainville, who is a physiatrist, or specialist in rehabilitation medicine. He is proposing a different way of thinking about pain – instead of thinking of pain as an alarm, for many people it could be actually caused by hypersensitive nerves. Essentially people just become afraid of any slight pain secession whether justified or not.
With this premise in mind Dr. Rainville runs back pain “boot camp.” In this camp people, with the guide of specially trained therapists, gradually increase the intensity of the exercise thus improving their physical strength and learning how to deal with pain.