Whether it's a recent study that estimates the incidence of chronic pain in the U.S. to be higher than hypertension or diabetes, a CDC report that found one in five U.S. adults reporting pain most days or every day in the past three months, or research that describes the rate at which low back pain moves from acute to chronic as "much greater than historically appreciated," there's no denying that chronic pain looms large on the health care landscape.
There's also no denying that PTs and PTAs can play critical role in addressing chronic pain — but a growing number of clinicians and researchers say that role can and should extend beyond a purely biomechanical approach to empower patients to move beyond the idea of pain relief as the sole goal of treatment. Instead, patients can be helped to better understand pain's effect on the cognition and emotion, and then work toward self-management, restored function, and return to activity.
That type of intervention has a name: psychologically informed practice, or PiP, and authors of two companion perspectives offer an overview of the building blocks of PiP as well as a roadmap for its implementation. The articles appear in PTJ: Physical Therapy & Research Journal, APTA's scientific journal. APTA members receive free access to PTJ content as a member benefit.
APTA members Jason Beneciuk, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH; and Steven George, PT, PhD, FAPTA, were among the authors of the articles.