Neuroscience of Pain – a global rehabilitation awakening…and only the beginning of the story

I will resist the temptation to write anything new and profound about the neuroscience of pain. I read a LOT. I listen (podcasts) a LOT. There are many that are more expert than I on the subject, Louw, Flynn, etc. I suggest that this emerging approach is becoming and will be recognized as the tip of an iceberg that lies largely underwater, for many of our rehabilitation approaches: movement disorders, gait deviations, sport performance, etc. That is to say that we are beginning to “talk about the walk” less. We learn from the OPTIMAL theory of motor learning that it is less productive to provide specific and intrinsic feedback about body parts, in gait retraining (talk about the walk), and more beneficial to use task manipulation to pull more normal (efficient, skilled, adaptable, symmetrical) movement out of the performer. If this sounds familiar, that is to use an approach that will de-emphasize the problem as a tradeoff for successful challenging and rewarding opportunities…then you see my point. Talking more about pain – gives pain more importance. Talking more about the specific gait deviations, movement compensations, and even talking more about environments that provoke dizziness…may be an approach of the past. It is those that count the wins and look for the next victory, that consider themselves winners. Those that look for the (insert here) pain, trip, movement that causes dizziness, knee that “snaps back”, will be less likely to make positive neuroplastic (learning) changes.