There is no doubt that one of the greatest challenges for the clinician working in the field of musculoskeletal medicine is explaining to a patient the concept of chronic or persistent pain. I daily review investigations and findings which do not adequately explain many patients pain symptoms, only to be asked “if nothing’s broken, why do I have pain?” Even more difficult is the patient that is fixated on surgery as the answer for a painful condition where there is no evidence (beyond the presence of pain)for surgical intervention.
It is now well established that treatment approaches utilising a bio-psycho-social approach are far more successful, and do require an active education component on the nature of pain.
The Hunter Integrated Pain Service has produced a wonderful video resource explaining the nature of pain – well worth the time for the clinician and patient reviewing and planning management going forward. Equally useful is the ACI Pain Management Network education video.
For those who love written resources to assist patients and younger professionals, “Explain Pain” by NOI is in its 10th anniversary remains one of my all time favourites.