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Axioms of Function

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

A post for the pros today, summarizing some excellent treatment principles (described in detail in Don't Freak Out: Treating Pain with Simple Fundamentals, by Greg Lehman). These are all great points, but the most neglected and important is probably “4. Pain is more about sensitivity than about injury.”

Fundamentals of Treatment (aka Axioms of Function)

  1. Rule out red flags
  2. Rule out serious tissue pathology
  3. The body is strong and adaptable
  4. Pain is more about sensitivity than about injury
  5. Treatment is about finding the appropriate stressor
  6. The patient is an active participant in their own care

Decorations: Useful Though Not Fundamental Axioms

  1. Gauge your treatments by assessing sensitivity
  2. Manual therapy is an adjunct to fundamentals
  3. Your assessment reinforces their belief in strength
  4. Comprehensive capacity trumps assessment-driven correctives
  5. Postural and movement assessments reveal habits but not flaws

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