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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

(formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) occurs after a trauma to the distal part of the extremity or after direct injury to the nerve. CRPS is associated with distal extremity pain and swelling, with the pain being disproportionate in time and degree to the injury. Patients may also have increased bloodContinue Reading »

Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Neck pain typically comes in two flavors – Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) and nontraumatic neck pain. There are many types of treatment for neck pain both within the physical therapy realm and outside of PT. Which makes the research confusing and difficult to interpret! For instance, the book I am using for this blog series isContinue Reading »

Low Back Pain

Low Back Pain

Dear Friends, I cannot believe that I find myself writing a blog about low back pain. The interweb is FULL of blog articles about low back pain. Some are very informative/helpful and some are just personal stories or what worked for one person. See, that is the struggle with low back pain – everyone hasContinue Reading »

TMJ (Pain in your Jaw!) & Headaches

TMJ (Pain in your Jaw!) & Headaches

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) involve pain and dysfunction around the TMJ (your jaw) and jaw muscles. The National Instititue of Dental and Craniofacial Research performed a 3 year study to identify biopsychosocial and genetic risk factors in the development of TMD. Potential risk factors for first-onset TMD were identified with older age, African American, pain onContinue Reading »

Myofascial Pain & Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Myofascial Pain & Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Myofascial pain has been estimated to be the source of pain in 85% of patients attending a pain center. Fibromyalgia affects 4-12% of the population. Both of these are rather “new” diagnoses in our medical system and there has been a great deal of research done recently. Let’s dive into understanding WHAT these diagnoses meanContinue Reading »

Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy is the art of knowing what tissue needs to be moved in which direction combined with the science behind the biomechanics of the body. Manual therapy may include soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilizations, joint manipulations, and teaching self-mobilization exercises. But it also includes the knowledge of WHICH tissues to move to obtain optimumContinue Reading »

Decreasing Chronic Pain

Decreasing Chronic Pain

One hundred million adults in America suffer from chronic pain. This is greater than the number of individuals affected by diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined! The evidence on chronic pain and what decreases symptoms or improves outcomes for this population is plentiful. However, clear and decisive answers on what should be done to decreaseContinue Reading »

Education & Self-Management of Pain

Education & Self-Management of Pain

The research indicates what Physical Therapists have long known – education is the key to rehabilitation! Education becomes even more important as we discuss chronic pain. Every PT has stories of patients they were able to treat quickly, who had good long term results. We thrive on those patients and we are just as happyContinue Reading »

To brace your abs or not to brace your abs?

To brace your abs or not to brace your abs?

As we are talking about chronic pain in this series of blog articles, it is critical to talk about how our body chooses to move in response to pain.  Let’s take an example of a sprained ankle.  When someone sprains their ankle they may start to walk with their foot turned out to the side. Continue Reading »

Explaining Chronic Pain

Explaining Chronic Pain

Chronic pain involves changes in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) which conveys nociceptive information to the central nervous system (CNS).  Over time, changes occur in the CNS that can cause continuation of the nociceptive information – even if the original stimulus has been removed!  For instance, say someone has a very painful ulcer on theirContinue Reading »

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