Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Can You Explain Your Pain?


Written by Barb Park, PT at Back 2 Action Physical Therapy

In the physical therapy world, our main focus is on the physiological (or, your body), and the way it is working or not working. A PT’s job is to teach you how to use your body in a safe and effective manner, hopefully keeping you as pain free as possible.

Knowing about your body, how it works, and the messages the body sends the brain via the nervous system can all contribute to less pain and panic.

We use an incredibly effective technique called Therapeutic Neuroscience Education, or TNE, which “explains pain” using simple analogies and metaphors to help you understand how your nervous system really works. For example, if you stepped on a nail, your body sends a message to your brain that there is a nail in your foot. This message “sounds the alarm system” so that you take action.

When you take the nail out, your nervous system (alarm system) is on high alert for a short period of time. Just because you took the nail out does not mean your alarm system quickly returns to “resting level.” You (and your foot) will be more sensitive for several days. This is to be expected. Gradually, your alarm system calms to its original resting level after your brain determines you are “safe.”

When your brain understands the messages it is receiving from the body, it does not worry or panic. “Explain Pain” strategies allow you to understand that you can become sore, but are still “safe,” and hurt does not always equal harm.

This educational system helps individuals in pain to recover more quickly from overuse, inflammation, injury, surgery, or car accidents. Individuals with chronic pain can also benefit from the program.

This educational system of Therapeutic Neuroscience Education (TNE), or “Explain Pain” is offered at Back 2 Action Physical Therapy, in Bettendorf, IA. This service is usually covered by insurance. Call for an appointment today! 563-332-6596.