The intricate relationship amongst pain intensity, fear and avoidance

The intricate relationship amongst pain intensity, fear and avoidance 1Fear of an internal threat like pain causes avoidance of pain-provoking movementsFear is an emotional response that occurs when the individual is directly threatened with a potentially life-threatening event, and the behavioural manifestation of fear usually is immediate escape from that event. Fear has been studied extensively in situations where there is an external threat, such as violence by another person or an animal. The automatic response is to attack or to escape the dangerous object and its location as fast as possible. The situation is somewhat different when the threat is coming from within the body, such as musculoskeletal, neuropathic or visceral pain, and from which escape is not possible. In the absence of an escape route, the only possibility is to prevent or avoid an increase of that pain sensation by staying immobilized or moving slowly and carefully. Such acute painful events are salient learning experiences. In most cases, the pain will diminish after a while, and the person might remember that just staying still or moving slowly is associated with less pain. As a result, this behavioural avoidance pattern is likely to be repeated in subsequent recurrences of pain or early signs of such a pain http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scandinavian Journal of Pain de Gruyter

The intricate relationship amongst pain intensity, fear and avoidance

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Publisher
De Gruyter
Copyright
© 2016 Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain
ISSN
1877-8860
eISSN
1877-8879
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.sjpain.2016.08.010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

1Fear of an internal threat like pain causes avoidance of pain-provoking movementsFear is an emotional response that occurs when the individual is directly threatened with a potentially life-threatening event, and the behavioural manifestation of fear usually is immediate escape from that event. Fear has been studied extensively in situations where there is an external threat, such as violence by another person or an animal. The automatic response is to attack or to escape the dangerous object and its location as fast as possible. The situation is somewhat different when the threat is coming from within the body, such as musculoskeletal, neuropathic or visceral pain, and from which escape is not possible. In the absence of an escape route, the only possibility is to prevent or avoid an increase of that pain sensation by staying immobilized or moving slowly and carefully. Such acute painful events are salient learning experiences. In most cases, the pain will diminish after a while, and the person might remember that just staying still or moving slowly is associated with less pain. As a result, this behavioural avoidance pattern is likely to be repeated in subsequent recurrences of pain or early signs of such a pain

Journal

Scandinavian Journal of Painde Gruyter

Published: Oct 1, 2016

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