Persistent pain physiotherapy differs from regular acute or sub-acute physiotherapy based on the simple fact that persistent pain is not the same as acute or sub-acute pain. The main differences are the duration for which the pain has been present and the fact that patients continue to have pain well after the injured tissue has healed. Central to the development, duration and severity of persistent pain is the patient’s understanding of pain and associated nervous system changes. Due to this, there is a greater focus on pain education and self management through behaviour and exercise therapy. This approach has been supported by extensive research into persistent pain.
More common persistent pain conditions include Chronic Low Back Pain, Chronic Neck Pain, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Phantom limb pain and Fibromyalgia. All resulting in central nervous system changes. Persistent pain can occur as a result of any injury no matter how the injury occurs.