Pain Science: Why should you care?

Pain Science is a newer field of study, and not everyone in the field of physical touch and manual therapy makes time to keep up with all the new information that we’re accumulating. It can be overwhelming, controversial, and mysterious.

So if other professionals are ignoring pain science, why should you as a massage therapy client care?

1) Pain Science is helping us realize that more is not always beHangovertter, deeper is not always necessary, and increased pain during treatment is counter-productive in most cases. This means that treatments are more likely to be done within a “comfortable discomfort” range of sensation versus the outdated “no pain, no gain” model.
2) Pain Science helps us understand the role that the nervous system plays in the perception of pain. In many cases the nervous system has more to do with the pain you feel than even your muscles. This means that your treatments address more soft tissue issues in more effective ways than just rubbing and digging into passive slabs of muscles.
3) Pain Science treats the PERSON rather than the MRI. Researchers have found that bulging discs, herniation, and other diagnosis have a low correlation to pain. (Many people with awful spines have no pain at all and some people in crippling amounts of pain have perfectly healthy spines. Same thing with muscle tears and other “defects.”)4) Pain Science gives us an updated idea of how to work with patients so that you can get back to feeling AND functioning better as quickly as possible. This means helping muscles that are not firing properly learn how to engage more effectively, honoring muscle adaptations rather than trying to bust through them (a lot of tight muscles are trying to protect you and forcing them to loosen can make things worse), and acknowledging the other protective mechanisms of the body (changes to movement, stress response, immune system changes, swelling and inflammation, and increased sensitivity). In order to do this you need to understand how to “hack” the system to allow new information to be taken in and integrated by the client.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should care about pain science. Ask your massage therapist where they get their updated information, how often they spend time reading and discussing recent studies, and how they apply the newest info on pain science into their treatments.

When you’re ready to try a therapist who makes an effort to understand the latest research and tries to provide the most effective therapies that are individually tailored to you, book online or call 941-321-5311. You’ll see how my treatments are different from the very first difference.