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

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 think everyone with back pain understands 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 all know how to do. 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 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

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