Entries by The Pain PT

Emotional Awareness & Expression Therapy for Chronic Pain

The definition of pain is: “A sensory and emotional experience…” as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). Emotions are a part of pain. Not many healthcare practitioners address the emotional side of pain. It is very real and the more chronic the pain typically the more emotional it is. Acute/subacute […]

The Role of the Prefrontal Cortex in Chronic Pain

The prefrontal cortex is a part of our brain that controls what’s called ‘higher executive functioning’. This is the cognitive area of the brain that houses our conscious perception and decision making abilities, as well as the ability to send inhibitory messages to down-regulate pain. The prefrontal cortex is number one in my opinion as […]

The Need to Treat the Mind with the Body

As a PT (physio) I realized a long time ago that we are not just mechanical bodies cut off from the mind at the neck, but that in fact, our brains and nervous systems have a greater impact on our bodies than we could ever imagine. In this study that premise bears out as whiplash […]

Feeling Safe, Feeling Well 8 Week Course- Sign Up!

Psychotherapist Julie Markowitz and myself Jim Prussack PT are teaming up to offer a 8 week course on healing chronic pain and other chronic health ailments starting in January 2021. The course is titled: ‘Feeling Safe, Feeling Well.’ There is such a need for this type of work as we know changes in the brain […]

Links between Emotional Repression and Inflammatory Rheumatisms

2019 study article looking at emotional repression and chronic inflammatory rheumatisms (CIR) ( rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis). It also highlights how adverse childhood experiences increase the risk for CIR later in life.  What they found: “Our results and those reported in the literature highlight the importance of emotional dysregulation, especially emotional repression, on CIR etiology […]

How the Brain Leads to Chronic Pain

One of the interesting things with recent fMRI imaging studies of the brain is that we can see what’s happening in the brain when there is pain. This study on acute pain also sheds light on the transition to chronic pain via a couple of brain pathways we have spoken about before. We are talking […]

Is Lumbar Fusion Appropriate for Chronic Low Back Pain?

New research article titled: “Is lumbar fusion necessary for chronic low back pain associated with degenerative disc disease? A meta-analysis.”  The short answer is “NO”. The researchers came to this conclusion after looking at multiple studies: ‘The present meta-analysis determined that fusion surgery was no better than nonoperative treatment in terms of the pain and […]

What Causes Pain To Become Chronic?

New study November 2020 that looked at 375 women coming to an inner city emergency department for acute pain.  They followed these people for 3 months. 162 people still had pain at the end of 3 months while the others recovered. What they found was: “The no recovery group reported significantly greater PTSD symptoms, anger, […]

Changes in the Brain Predict Chronic Low Back Pain a Year Later

This is one of those research articles I refer to often. It’s titled: ‘Predicting transition to chronic pain’. What is so interesting about this research is they did brain scans at the time of an acute low back pain episode and then again a year later. In the people whose pain became chronic, they found […]

Abnormal Amygdala Connections With Chronic Pain

The Amygdala is known as the emotional center of the brain. It has been implicated in anxiety and depression and now studies are clearly showing it is implicated with chronic pain. This study showed exactly that, and it also highlighted that pain catastrophizing had the greatest impact on the abnormal amygdala to central executive network […]