Ah, Pain...It's the cause of so many frustrations and discomfort and can seem life ending in some situation... Even when being explained the source of your pain by a medical professional, you still can't always explain it. And many patients don't understand how the site of their injury still hurts even though the tissue has healed.
Over the past 20 years, the medical community has made great progress in understanding the multi facets and layers of pain, and with the help from researchers in pain science, the now more accepted model of describing pain is the biopsychosocial model. In short, pain is seen as an interaction among and within the biological, psychological and social factors, unique to each individual.
Chronic pain affects 50 millions of Americans and costs $70 to $100 billion annually to treat, both in treatments and lost productivity. A study release by the CDC revealed that 1 in 4 person experiences pain for at least 24 hour the previous months. It also found that one in ten person suffers from chronic pain and that three fifth of adults over 65 years of age suffers from pain that has lasted more than one year.
Because of this prevalence and the costs, the search for understanding the underlying mechanisms of pain and identifying the best treatment options has boomed and one thing is sure: you cannot link tissue damage to level of pain, like the old pathoanatomical model does.
The human body is complex and relying solely on imaging (CT scan, MRI, x-rays) findings to diagnose and treat pain has been costly, inefficient and often ineffective, leaving many patient frustrated after they underwent major invasive surgeries to see their pain level not being affected.
Often, in this cases, only the pathoanatomical model is considered and so fixing what is damaged or injured, as seen on imaging, has failed to help people with their pain.
Neurology and pain science is complicated and can be overwhelming. And so today I want to redirect you toward a video by one of the most prominent pain science researchers in the world, Professor Lorimer Moseley, PhD, who explain some aspect of pain in simple terms.
I would also like to redirect you toward this completely free for download, very informative and most excellent workbook on pain by Dr.Greg Lehman, BKIN, MSC, DC, MSCPT. It is a super easy read and might help anyone understand and identify some sources and what contributes to their pain. It explains the biopsychosocial model in non medical languages.
Go to the following link to download it:
In closing, treatments at Butheau Physiotherapy applies the biopsychosocial model of pain for helping our patients.
Pierre-Yves Butheau, MPT, CMP has been a physiotherapist for 19 years and has a passion for helping people move better, return from and prevent injuries, as well as improve their function and quality of life. He has a strong interest in addressing the root cause of and treating neuro-musculoskeletal conditions while educating his patients with the knowledge to manage their conditions and prevent recurrence. Pierre also has a niche in treating Bell's palsy and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions.