​Recently, Dorien Goubert and Iris Coppieters obtained their PhD degree at Ghent University, Belgium. Dorien completed her PhD on studies linking peripheral (i.e., muscular) and central aspects of chronic low back pain. The title of her PhD was ‘Peripheral back muscle dysfunctions and central pain mechanisms: an innovative perspective on differences between recurrent and chronic pain’ and you can check out her publications here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Goubert+D%5BAuthor%5D). Iris’ PhD, entitled ‘Relationships between cognitive deficits, central sensitization, and structural brain alterations in patients with chronic idiopathic neck pain, chronic whiplash associated disorders and fibromyalgia. Unravelling differences in underlying mechanisms’ included some of her following publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Coppieters%20I%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=24508406 Congratulations to both of them!
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Pain has always been a matter of interest to those involved in rehabilitation and medicine. Decades of research has led to the understanding that pain is an extensive and complex mechanism, influenced by thoughts, emotions, context, previous experiences, perceptions, etc.
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Working in a rehabilitation centre means that you have to deal with pain every day. Actually, it is quite frank to notice that someone’s pain is an everyday part of my job.
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Within the biomedical model, pain is considered a consequence of tissue damage. However, we all know now that a precise biomedical diagnosis cannot be given in the majority of the low back pain (LBP) patients. Enter: the biopsychosocial perspective.
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Musculoskeletal pain is a highly prevalent disorder. People often seek help from a physiotherapist to relieve their pain and related limitations.
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Patient’s pain and disability improvement is an everyday challenge for physiotherapists.
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For centuries chronic pain has been viewed as a solely biomedical issue in the tissues. However, times are changing and we now know that (chronic) pain is a complex construct in which not only physiological factors play a role. In addition, pain is influenced by psychological factors, such as thoughts and feelings, and social factors, for instance judgement and misunderstanding.
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The biomedical model falls short in explaining chronic pain. Although many clinicians have moved on in their thinking and apply a broad biopsychosocial view with regard to chronic pain (patients), the majority of clinicians (including myself) have received a biomedical-focused (undergraduate) training/education.
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It is well established that pain has the function of maintaining the integrity of the body. Pain is an evolutionarily acquired alarm signal of bodily threat and this phylogenetic function is extremely important for survival.
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