I can avoid pain, therefore I must be afraid!

Why is it that some people develop chronic pain after recovering from an injury, while others don’t? Suppose you are one of the many people who had an injury. Let us further assume that you were the one in five who develops chronic pain after injury. You might misinterpret the pain (e.g., you thought that the pain you were feeling was an indication … [Read more...]

Rethinking relationships between fear, avoidance and pain-related disability

Working as a physical therapist, I have sometimes struggled to understand why some of my patients with seemingly similar musculoskeletal injuries recover and why others develop chronic pain and disability. This question, as well as a range of others, ultimately prompted me to delve into the world of pain (research, that is) and explore how … [Read more...]

The Fear-Avoidance Model moves forward

New research from the '7th World Congress on Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies’ Cognitive and behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most widely researched and used approach in psychology. A recent review of 108 meta-analyses showed that, when compared to other treatments (for psychological problems), CBT generally proves to be equally or more … [Read more...]

Fear, disability, chickens and eggs

The Fear Avoidance Model (FAM) has been a big player in the recent history of chronic pain research and clinical practice. Simply put, the premise of the model is that in the acute stage of an injury or painful event, the presence of fear and catastrophic beliefs regarding the meaning of pain or the possible consequences of activity leads to … [Read more...]