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Back and Neck Pain - How can education change pain ?

Updated: Jun 25

WHAT IS PAIN NEUROSCIENCE EDUCATION ?

Pain neuroscience education (PNE) is education focused on the neurobiology and physiology of pain.


This assists patients to reconceptualise the way they perceive pain, moving away from a view that pain indicates tissue damage (Louw, Diener, Butler, & Puentedura, 2011) to a biopsychosocial understanding of pain (King et al., 2018).


Education is strongly recommended for treatment with chronic lower back pain and neck pain (Oliveira et al., 2018).


HOW DOES EDUCATION WORK ?
Can you change my pain even if you don't touch me?

The science says education about pain can;

  • empower patients to actively problem solve pain flair ups(Louw et al., 2011).

  • help patients increase activity tolerance (Marris, Theophanous, & Donaldson, 2019),

  • enables the patient to fully understand how their thoughts , beliefs, behaviour and environment may influence and perpetuate their pain experience (Adams & Turk, 2018).

  • improve confidence managing pain (Silva Guerrero et al., 2018).


PNE in patients with back pain have been shown to reduce:

  • how bad it feels and how dangerous, at long term followup

  • reducing depression in the short term(Silva Guerrero et al., 2018).

  • in conjunction with exercise, pain education can improve patient’s pain and disability in short term follow up in chronic lower back pain (CLBP) (Wood & Hendrick, 2019).


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