As we are learning more about the complexity of pain, we are beginning to better understand that the degree of injury does not always relate to the degree of pain. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as ‘an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage’. This definition highlights the variability of a painful experience and indicates pain may be a result of actual or potential tissue damage. A recent article published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery sought out to determine if pain levels are related to the severity of rotator cuff pathology (1).
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Joseph Brence DPT, COMT, DAC is a physical therapist and clinical researcher from Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He is also a fellowship candidate with Sports Medicine of Atlanta, GA, USA.
Joseph’s primary clinical interests involve a better understanding of the neuromatrix and determining how it applies to physical therapy practice. He is currently involved in a wide range of clinical research projects investigating topics such as the effects of verbalising pain, the effects of mobilising v. manipulating the spine on body image perception and validation of an instrument which will assess medical practitioners’ understanding of pain.
Clinically, Joseph treats a wide range of painful conditions in multiple settings including complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Joseph also runs the Forward Thinking PT blog.
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