Massage & Bodywork

March/April 2013

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education Pathology perspectives | body awareness | functional anatomy | somatic research A client relays this conversation with her primary care provider: Mrs. Smith: No matter what I do, it hurts all the time. It hurts when I rest, and when I work. It hurts when I eat healthy, and when I eat junk. It hurts whether I sleep or not. It hurts all the time. I don't remember what it's like to not hurt. What am I supposed to do? Doctor: I can't imagine why you're having so much pain, Mrs. Smith. Your tests show hardly any … Pervasive Pain The Central-Sensitization Situation By Ruth Werner 42 massage & bodywork march/april 2013 Finish the sentence: arthritis, disc damage, whiplash injury. For women, add endometriosis; for men, add prostate enlargement. The unspoken assumption? This person is a drug-seeker, or a malingerer, or a little nutty. But often, this client is simply experiencing chronic pain. She is not alone. According to a recent article in Massage & Bodywork (Diana Thompson's "The Epidemic of Pain," May/June 2012, page 48), up to 116 million Americans have chronic pain. Deaths from the misuse of painkilling drugs have tripled in the last decade. We are desperately in need of some better options for treating chronic pain, but to achieve that, we need to understand what is really happening.

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