Kinesiophobia and Pain

Running PainKinesiophobia is defined as the fear of movement. Kinesiophobia is experienced by many patients with pain causing them to believe that moving will cause harm. Though lack of movement serves as a protective function when the body experiences pain, it can often be detrimental to quality of life and function. People who experience kinesiophobia often report higher levels of anxiety, which contributes to increased pain due to the mind-body connection. An increase in perceived pain further propels lack of movement, which in turn causes further disability. A recent study by Suarez et al. showed that Kinesiophobia is a prevalent problem in patients with pain and should be involved in the examination and assessment of patients daily. This study shows that the higher degree of kinesiophobia equates to a higher level of pain and disability. Kinesiophobia is also directly correlated with higher pain levels and lower quality of life. Physical therapists can help reduce kinesiophobia by explaining the anatomy of movement and grading the exposure to activity to improve quality of life and reduce pain. It is important to know that hurt does not mean harm. Often pain is the bodies response to healing and is wrongly attributed to bodily harm. Visit your physical therapist if you fear moving will cause you more harm. At your visit, your physical therapist will help to find ways to prevent the progression of disability to improve your quality of life and return to the things you love.

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