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What do HAVING a BABY and RUNNING a MARATHON have in common?

 

It may not be what you think. For new mums and runners may both experience a form of selective amnesia regarding the pain of the event leaving them open to doing it all over again. Follow the link to read the full text as it appeared in the New York Times:

 

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/forgetting-the-pain-of-exercise/?smid=fb-share&_r=0

 

We posted a talk a few days ago from Lorimer Mosely on the relationship between the brain and pain  Getting a grip on pain and the brain.  If you’ve already had a chance to view the clip, the article above  should come as no surprise.  What we know is that the experience of pain is just that – an experience – and like all experiences lots of factors can influence how it’s remembered, perceived and ultimately the terms in which it’s regarded – either as a positive experience or as a negative one.  The pain experience of a new mum holding her beautiful new-born baby is always going to be remembered in very different terms to that of a tennis player with a sore shoulder who has just lost the Wimbledon Singles Final.

 

Every day as physiotherapists we have people walking through our door with widely varying experiences of pain and widely different expectations of how they will recover.  The construction worker with a back injury who fears that his livelihood is on the line; the weekend netballer with a minor ankle sprain from the first game of the year; the high school runner nursing a hamstring strain a week out from the Nationals and the mother of three attending our Pilates class to help with her post-pregnancy SIJ pain.

To help the runner, the mum, the netballer and the construction worker, we as good clinicians have to wrap our own brains around their pain experience –  its context, history and meaning – as much as we have to understand the anatomy and physiology of the injury itself.  Not only do we have to do that but we have to educate each of these patients to see and understand it too.  Pretty cool job huh?

 

Lastly for those of you who think that a life lived without pain sounds OK check out the story below:

 

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/pain-genes-and-perception/