This is what a pain pathway, known as a “neurotag” might look like in your brain:
Yup! Complicated. That’s a lot to take in isn’t it? The main idea though is that each person will experience pain in a unique way and in different parts of the brain, based on their experiences, perception, fear and understanding of their problem, to name a few. The way each person’s own “wiring” in the brain happens, is their own personal “neurotag”.
When we see patients in physical therapy with long standing pain and pain “neurotag” habits, we work to address their pain perception from 3 points of view:
- Problematic movement patterns and fear of certain movements related to their pain – this often causes more pain and more problems,
- Activities to retrain the brain into new “habits” to be able to decrease fear and anxiety which worsen pain,
- Help each person understand their complicated experiences with pain, anger, frustration, lack of progress, and inability to do what they want to do. It is important to understand what contributes to our pain, to gain greater control over it.
Modern approaches to pain should be comprehensive to address the patient as a whole person. If we focus only on a painful area and don’t consider how this effects our patients’ brain and behavior, we often fail to to be effective in alleviating chronic painful conditions.
We are happy to talk with you about your pain or pain being experienced by someone you care about.