Therapeutic Education Reduces Chronic Pain



Andrew Zang

The National Institute of Health reports that one in 10, or more than 25 million Americans, live with chronic, daily pain. For those seeking a non-pharmacological remedy, options include yoga, meditation, massage, diet, alternative medicine and physical therapy. There is also a growing body of evidence that pain management via therapeutic neuroscience education (TNE) is beneficial.

TNE teaches patients why they hurt and how to overcome it. With chronic pain, it is not as simple as an image of the body showing “some abnormality” or damaged/injured tissue. Other mechanisms are involved that can be complex and emotional—learning about it is powerful.

With chronic pain, the body becomes sharply sensitive to stimuli—even a light touch to a painful area hurts more than it “should”—and that area may become larger. These changes occur in the brain over time and are two of the areas that TNE addresses.

One goal of TNE is to teach people to move again. Movement has been shown to reduce pain and lower stress, anxiety and depression often associated with chronic pain. Using this approach in conjunction with an individual, patient-specific exercise regimen offers great hope.

Andrew Zang, DPT, OCS, MTC, FAAOMPT,  is the owner of Zang Physical Therapy, located at 836 Market St., in Lemoyne. For more information, call 717-440-6197 or visit ZangPT.com.

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