"Education is Therapy"
When you have pain for a long time, often times you can become stressed, anxious, depressed, fatigued, and generally unwell. Did you know that the opposite is also true? The nervous system is a two way street. Feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, fear can make you lose sleep and make you more susceptible to illness. These things can also amplify sensory/alarm signals that your body naturally produces and, ultimately, make you feel pain more intensely. Activities that would normally never have bothered you paradoxically start to produce pain that lingers long after you have stopped.
Inconsistent diagnoses from different doctors, scary imaging results, multiple courses of failed treatment, and loss of hope can trigger a cycle of progressive spreading of pain amongst a myriad of other symptoms including numbness, tingling, fogginess, and fatigue. This creates a downward spiral that must be interrupted before you can begin to recover.
The truly exciting news is that current research clearly shows that knowing more about how pain works -- the physiology of pain mechanisms -- helps to down regulate an irritable nervous system. The more you can down regulate the nervous system, the less pain you will feel, the better you will move, and the more positive you will feel. With perseverance and education, you can calm your nervous system, break the cycle, and move forward towards a life with less pain. We call this treatment Therapeutic Neuroscience Education.
Research also states that this specialized educational therapy works BEST when combined with thoughtfully prescribed, appropriate levels of exercise. Exercise IS medicine. If necessary, hands-on interventions and other modalities can be skillfully and judiciously applied to help your recovery.
Please remember, your pain is REAL, it can be measured, and it can be changed for the better!