I really like this line from Dr. Richmond below, and it got me thinking about all the ways we need to engage the patient on their pain:
"On spraining a knee ligament, it’s not the ligament as much as how the body is responding to the detection of chemicals released by the injured tissue (1), the perception of threat (2) and how the individual responds to the conscious feelings created by the whole body that drive thoughts and behaviors (3)" (numbers added for emphasis)
So, going off this above quote, how can we be sure that we assess all three parts of pain for each patient? Are we answering/reinforcing these questions each appointment?
Checklist for Pain Abolishment; How are we:
1. Helping the body respond to the chemical pain? What patient response assessment will be effective for the patient?
2. Lowering the threshold of perceived threat? What neuro-physiological techniques are you using to accomplish this?
3. Educating on the conscious and unique response to pain? Here are a few things to know about pain that can be taught to your patients to improve their overall understanding of their condition, which directly leads to better outcomes.
I know personally I can get caught up too often in the first two. Some patients will blindly follow and believe everything you say so you forget to educate them. But that doesn't discount the importance of the patient understanding their condition. Sticking to all three points can make a large difference in quickly effecting the patient's pain.