The Pain PT News

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…

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…

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…

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:…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

What Happens in the Brain with Pain Catastrophizing?

Pain Catastrophizing is a 'tendency to magnify and ruminate about pain and having a helpless attitude toward actual or anticipated pain.' Studies show that people who catastrophize about their pain have…

Mindfulness Changes Brain Centers Linked With Chronic Pain

Article titled: "The Neuroscience of Mindfulness: How Mindfulness Alters the Brain and Facilitates Emotion Regulation" Some of the same areas of the brain that become weak (prefrontal cortex, etc) or overactive…

The Role of the Prefrontal Cortex in Chronic Pain

When looking at the brain's impact on chronic pain, we have to look to the prefrontal cortex. 2020 review of the research says: 'Its predominant role in aversive learning and memory puts the medial prefrontal…

Intolerance of Uncertainty Leads To More Pain

July 2020 publication in the Journal 'Pain' looking at what's called Intolerance of uncertainty (IU), which the study authors state is 'a dispositional fear of the unknown'  and is related to anxiety…

Fibromyalgia and Emotion Regulation Difficulties

2020 study out of Europe looking at fibromyalgia and how these people have a harder time dealing with their emotions.  As we know how we deal with emotions affects pain levels. Emotions are the biggest…

Emotional Awareness Reduces IBS Pain

Let's continue with the science around emotions and now IBS. Study Titled: "Higher Emotional Awareness Is Associated With Reduced Pain in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients: Preliminary Results" Conclusions This…

What Is the Relationship between Pain and Emotion? 

Great to see these guys out of Stanford put out an article asking the scientific and medical community to bridge the gap between pain and emotion, as we have severed the mind from the body with pain for…

Alexithymia Predicts Persistent Pain After Breast Surgery

Very interesting study that shows 'Alexithymia' was the only factor that predicted chronic pain 12 months after breast surgery. I call alexithymia the most important unknown word in chronic pain. It is…

Anger Repression Linked to Asthma in Adolescents

2020 study showing again how when we hold emotions in they can cause and exacerbate physical problems. In this case, anger repression and less anger expression was linked to asthma in adolescents. One…

The Link between Emotions and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Researchers at Penn State University have found that emotions themselves can act as stressors to create inflammation and pain in the body. In this study they found a link between emotions and rheumatoid…