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COMPLEXITY OF PAIN

The Complexity of Pain brings into focus how overwhelming pain is for our society and for each individual with chronic pain. In this lesson we will look at the components of pain that make it so overwhelming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Complexity of Pain brings into focus how overwhelming pain is for our society and for each individual with chronic pain. In this lesson we will look at the components of pain that make it so overwhelming.

 

Persistent pain changes everything! It changes how you live, what you do, how you do it, when you do it, and who you do it with. Pain changes your body, especially your brain. The complexity of pain continues as we explore just how pain changes everything.

 

Part of guiding you through the maze of pain is utilizing the a basic scientific premise – test the hypothesis and observe your outcomes. We want to help you discover that using this approach it is less overwhelming. By doing this, you become your own case study. Scientists call this N=1, meaning a sample size of one for a specific study. Some of the most critical components of your own case study are:

1. Change only one thing at a time (aka test one variable). This really helps you know what changes you made were worth your time and effort.

2. Collect data before and after the change (aka establish baseline and outcomes measures). Because pain is hard to remember keeping track becomes very important.

3. Guess at the outcome you hope to find (aka establish an hypothesis). Try to predict what you think will work.

4. If it doesn't work one time you may try again, but eventually if you don't find the result you are looking for you may want to stop trying. (aka verify a null result with test and re-test, but don't just keep hitting your head against the same wall).

5. If it works one time in one place over time you might want to try to do something in other places with other things going on (aka test the generalizability of the result).

 

We will wrap up this lesson on the complexity of pain as we look at the physical systems that guide us through this matrix, helping us find our own paths to mastery.

HOMEWORK

In your Mastering Pain Journal answer the following question:

How has pain been a complex problem in your life? How has pain interacted with your movement, energy, sleep, social life, finances, identity, memory, and mood?