FIB: Fear Inhibited Behavior…when your brain undermines your choices

It is now commonly-accepted that fear influences our choices for movement. We have scales in chronic pain that are used across many aspects of rehabilitation: neurologic, return to sport after ACL-R, pelvic wellness, and more. It may be an appropriate time to ask ourselves if we can intervene before fear causes us to avoid movement, when fear is showing signs of inhibiting movement. Hence, I introduce the concept of FIB: Fear Inhibited Behavior, begins with a patient that has awareness of their impairments. The patient notices that their capacities are limited and begins to form suppressed expectancies and confirms their biases of being incapable of moving safely (be that because of instability, dizziness, pain, or other symptom). Fear distracts the patient and impacts their performance, eroding full performance. This is expressed in different terms, depending on the underlying impairment, as: tone, incomplete motor recruitment, tremor, rigidity, inaccuracies, and more. Only then, will the patient develop an impression of their abilities and begins to make Fear Avoidant Behavioral choices. So, the lie (FIB), can and likely will lead to Fear Avoidant Behavior, unless we intervene soon enough to provide enhanced expectancies…or intervene powerfully enough in the chronic stages, to demonstrate meaningful potential to measurably improve. The later approach leverages habituation/desensitization, motor learning, and improving underlying capacities (fitness), at the start of a very long list of avenues toward resolution.