Carey Rothschild, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, CSCS
PURPOSE: Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) is an intervention aimed at increasing an individual’s general knowledge of pain from both psychosocial and neurophysiological perspectives. PNE has been studied extensively with patients experiencing both chronic and post-surgical pain. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of a single session of PNE on pain knowledge, fear avoidance beliefs, and pressure pain threshold in the healthy population.
METHODS: Twenty-five healthy, non-injured participants (mean ± SD age = 24 ± 3 years) were randomized into a PNE group, who received a 10-minute face-to-face educational session, or a control group, who did not receive PNE. The primary outcome measures of pressure pain threshold, fear avoidance, and pain knowledge were measured prior to the intervention and one week later.
RESULTS: The PNE group demonstrated a significant increase in quadriceps pressure pain threshold compared to the control group after the intervention (p=0.050, η2=0.163). The Revised Neurophysiology of Pain Questionnaire (RNPQ) and Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ) were used to assess pain knowledge and fear avoidance beliefs. A significant improvement in pain knowledge was seen via the RNPQ in the intervention group compared to the control group (p=0.004, η2=0.324). A non-significant decrease in fear-avoidance beliefs via the FABQ was seen in the intervention group compared to the control group with a moderate to large effect size (p=0.081, η2=0.132).
CONCLUSION: These findings support the hypothesis that one session of PNE may be effective in improving an individual’s understanding of pain and tolerance to pain, thus potentially reducing the risk of experiencing chronic pain.
Schmidt, Jeff; Phillips, John; and Maggert, James, "The Effects of Pain Neuroscience Education on Pain Tolerance in a Healthy Population" (2020). UCF DPT Research Capstone. 15.