Manual manipulative therapy may reduce fear avoidance in Chronic lower back pain.
Some very interesting research was just published in the ” Journal of Pain “. The authors looked at the effect of fear avoidance patterns in patients suffering chronic lower back pain.
If you do happen to suffer chronic lower back pain you understand that it’s not just the pain that gets you down but also the fact that you can become fearful to do movements that used to cause you no problems at all .In short you can can become scared to move.
The interesting this about this fear of movement is the complexity of the brains systems that controls this. There is far more to the story that just your body telling you something hurts when you move it.
After you suffer pain for long enough the brain starts to do odd things and can misinterpret some movements as causing injury when actually the movement may not be causing damage at all, in fact it may be a beneficial movement such as a light stretch or strengthening exercise.
What the researchers discovered was just one single session of spinal manipulative therapy not only decreased pain levels but also reduced the expected pain levels and fear of movement levels during a back stretching exercise.
The implications of this is that manual therapy may play a role not only in making you hurt less but also in reducing your fear of movement and beneficial exercises that have been shown to reduce chronic lower back pain. Perhaps the age of answer to the question ” Do you need exercise or manual treatment ? ” May be answered with ” actually both may be the best path forward “.
The research community anxiety awaits this study to replicated with multiple treatments as would usually occur in a clinical presentation to a therapist. You can read an abstract of the study below
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