Thursday Thoughts: Pain is About Sensitivity | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Thursday Thoughts: Pain is About Sensitivity

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It was a great 5 days last week from Wed to Sunday. I was honored to stay with my colleague and good friend, Chris Johnson (the robot marching guy) of Zeren PT and Performance.

Not only did we shoot a ton of footage for some upcoming products, but I got to assist on his System of a Run course, hosted by Jason Shane and Dave Leyland in Vancouver, BC. One of Chris' first and many memorable quotes of the day was, "Pain is about sensitivity."

The powerful meaning behind this educational Neuroscience Nugget (to borrow from Butler), is that Pain is more about your nervous system being threatened and sensitizing movements, positions, and/or activities. This is independent of issues in the tissues.

How often does a clinician tell a runner they have to run faster to improve their knee pain?

One great example of this was a marathoner who I was speaking with over some drinks after Chris' Window in System of a Run 1 hour presentation at Brooks Trailhead in Seattle. He was very concerned about his chronic knee pain with running. When we dove into his story a bit more, it turns out that his knee pain occurs only with training, but not with racing. There are many reasons behind this possibly, but the easiest is that his movement patterns and form are more efficient, most likely with an increased step rate or cadence. This will decrease the load through his knees; decreased input = decreased threat. 

Chris and I both told him to increase his cadence during training, and not to worry about racing that weekend. He texted Chris after the race and turns out he ran the marathon in 2.5 hours. Education can decrease both perceived threat and actual threat. It's the most powerful tool we have.

Interested in live cases where I apply this approach and integrate it with pain science, manual therapy, repeated motions, IASTM, with emphasis on patient education? Check out Modern Manual Therapy!

Keeping it Eclectic...

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