Summer Session – 22nd July 2020 for 3 hours

Nic Perrim presented a second session to us which was on the topic of pain. It included the theories of pain, pain mechanisms and how to manage pain.

Reflective Summary

To begin with we had an interesting discussion about what pain actually is. It was noteworthy that pain does not necessarily mean there is tissue damage at it may be psychological. This emphasises that hands on treatment may not be required if the pain appears to be physiological.

It was important to understand the theories of pain however, no one really knows what actually causes pain. The different theories that we discussed included the gate control theory, pattern theory, intensity theory, mature organism theory and specificity theory. It was interesting to understand the similarities and differences between these theories and how they have changed overtime as we now know more.

Next, we considered the three predominant pain mechanisms; nociceptive pain, peripheral neurogenic pain and central sensitisation. It is essential to understand these mechanisms as it can help us to decide a treatment plan. For example, peripheral neurogenic pain is pain due to a response directly from the nerve itself. This means that a nerve becomes irritated which gives the person a pain response that can be a widespread but recognisable distribution. We could then use neurodynamic/nerve gliders to try to treat the pain.

Lastly, we looked at various methods that can be used for the management of pain. This included well known treatments such as massage, stretching and taping however it may be more beneficial for the client to use pain education, nerve gliders or even talking to us.

Areas for further improvement

My first area for improvement would be to use evidence-based practice when selecting a treatment method for the specific pain. I sometimes shy away from treatment techniques that I am less confident using however, they may be more effective for the patient’s condition. In order to help my confidence, I can practice and perfect a variety of treatment methods that I tend to use less.

Another area I could revise are the key definitions associated with pain so that I fully understand the topic. This will also help me when I am reading academic pieces related to pain so I can make more sense of them.

Things to Remember:

  1. Pain is not a stimulus, it is a response to stimulus that the brain receives from different parts of the body
  2. Nociception = Physiological process whereby nerve fibres respond to a stimulus which may indicate tissue damage or the potential for tissue damage (it’s the process that will trigger us to have pain)
  3. Pain = A subjective lived experience
  4. You may have pain without nociception
  5. May want to avoid the term chronic and use persistent pain instead!







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