Pain neuroscience is a subject that will explain how pain affects the brain. Pain naturally is a protective mechanism that produces endorphins, anti-inflammatories and stimulation of the immune system. Pain also protects the individual from acute pain by activating the flight, fright and fight response that has an effect on the whole nervous system from the area of pain to the spinal cord and the brain.
When pain becomes chronic the brain changes as it has learned to maintain the acute responses that the body produces and affects the mobility of the individual, decreases circulation and increases activity in the pain pathways so that the signals continue and eventually amplify the pain. Many patients are too afraid to use the body parts that increase pain and this worsens the situation.
Once a person understands this system new learning takes place and various methods are explained to the patient to help control the pain and change the automatic and neural responses that have occurred in the body that may have negative effects. Research from the International Association for the Study of Pain has demonstrated that understanding of pain and controlled low level exercise may eventually ease pain over time, as will mindfulness, various methods of visualisation and breathing exercises among many other techniques. Each patient is different and different methods need to be explored to improve each individual’s situation. Patients will learn to pace themselves and plan movements and learn to do exercise that will improve their function.
Combined with the above, patients are offered many treatments as previously mentioned that may expedite healing and make it easier to manage and control pain and improve the quality of your life.
Most patients would benefit from a comprehensive assessment of their condition that would enable the physiotherapist to evaluate the diagnosis and suggest the necessary treatments and then educate and provide valuable suggestions for improvement. This would arm the patient with knowledge and control of their condition.
A telehealth meeting on skype or zoom is available with Professor Berger. This can be offered prior to a suggested intervention with Elisma Conradie and our highly qualified physiotherapists.
An appointment can be made that is convenient to you and Prof Berger through the Berger, Conradie Practice at 011 883 2000. Medical Aid Rates for the consultation/discussions are provided and payment can be made prior to the consultation date.