In a nutshell
In Explain Pain Supercharged, Lorimer Moseley and David Butler proposed The Grand Poobah* Pain Theory. They offered four key statements to describe the GPPT ‘in a nutshell’:
1. Pain is an unpleasant feeling that is felt somewhere in the body and urges us to protect that bodily location.
2. Pain is one of many protective mechanisms. Others include movement, immune, cognitive, endocrine and autonomic.
3. Pain is the only protective mechanism we are necessarily aware of and compels us to do something to protect the painful bit.
4. Pain is modulated by any credible evidence that protection is warranted.
And two tables summarising essential ideas around pain and protection and how to talk about them. Table One highlighted the vital difference between pain and nociception. Table Two called out some nonsense terms and offered both scientifically accurate and sensible lay terms as alternatives.
Table 2.1 from Explain Pain Supercharged
Table 2.2 from Explain Pain Supercharged
It is remarkable…
For many reading this, these ideas may be deeply embedded and second nature, but as Lorimer and David reflect in Explain Pain Supercharged:
“It is remarkable that these concepts are yet to be completely adopted within the pain science and clinical community.” (EPS p22)
These four key ideas and two tables will have a place as you Explain Pain to people experiencing problem pain states.
Additionally, as the #painrevolution continues to gain momentum, these fundamentals will also be helpful in the role that is increasingly being taken on by many in this space – that of public advocate for people and pain science.