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Can you “unlearn” back pain? Not if your back pain is not a learned response!

DRAFT…fix this rant with proper info

Can you ‘unlearn’ back pain?

Yes…IF your back pain is a learned response. That is, if you have ‘learned’ to stay in bed and wrap yourself in cotton wool and do nothing active to manage your pain.

That’s a big “IF”.

For the vast majority of people who suffer back pain, their pain is NOT a learned response. Therefore, NO they cannot “UNLEARN” back pain. And it’s incredibly disingenuous to say that you CAN unlearn back pain.

It is victim-blaming. I believe most people who are living with chronic lower back pain understand that they have to keep moving, to do physiotherapy and NOT to lie in bed all day. That’s the standard of care. That’s what we are advised by doctors and physiotherapists. We know this. For some of us, the pain is severe, it goes on for months, there IS a cause, be it disease, damage, or degeneration.

And we also need medication.

Pain biopsychosocial experience, but the medical community has forgotten about the “bio” part.

when you’ve done the physio, you are exercising, you know how to meditate and live mindfully, you do not catastrophise and you keep a positive attitude…when you’ve done all that, medication is required and MUST be available. Anything less is not good medicine, is not evidence based and is taking us back to the Middle Ages in terms of health care.

It’s the same old idea that people are afraid of moving, that they think that they will injure themselves further if the get out of bed. I have met a few people who are like this, but they are the tiny minority. the problem is they are very often the LOUD minority. They often go to doctor after doctor in search of endless treatments and/or diagnoses. Their pain has a psychosocial component, it may even be the largest contributer to their pain. The vast majority of people with back pain know they have to get up and keep moving, even if it hurts. They have families, jobs, responsibilities to take care of. They cannot lie in bed all day.

This kind of treatment is only proper for those patients who are highly anxious, who do believe that they will do damage to their bodies if they ‘do too much’.

https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/news/sensorimotor-retraining-a-new-approach-for-treating-chronic-pain-364343

https://www.abc.net.au/…/chronic-back-pain…/101320090

And here’s another one – fear based avoidance! I’m sick of hearing about this. the people who are like this are the minority. Yes, go help them. But recognise that the rest of us are going to gym, trying to keep our lives afloat but our pain is NOT due to fear and/or activity avoidance. we need pain reduction, and the most effective medication class is opioids

https://www.healio.com/news/psychiatry/20220906/address-patients-fear-to-manage-chronic-pain

PsychosomaticAddict
Author: PsychosomaticAddict

Chronic Pain Patient Advocate. Pain Coach. Patient. Living with High Impact Chronic Pain and advocating for proper pain treatment, including opioids where appropriate. Busting the myths. Exposing the actual science.

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