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Why Do I Hurt?: A Patient Book About the Neuroscience of Pain

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Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD
Publication Date:
Feb 18, 2013
International Spine & Pain Institute
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Pain is a normal, human experience. Living in pain, however, is not. Chronic pain rates are on the rise and the reason is that the focus is being placed on tissues, like muscles, ligaments and joints. Tissues generally heal within three to six months and, therefore, are not likely the cause for persistent pain. Persistent pain is more commonly due to a sensitive nervous system and how the brain processes information from the body and environment.

Physical therapist and clinical neuroscience researcher Adriaan Louw's patient book Why Do I Hurt? incorporates the latest neuroscience understanding of pain, especially chronic pain. Recent research shows that patients who understand how pain works, the biology and physiology behind their pain, are able to move more freely, exercise more, have less fear and experience less pain. Research also shows that everyone has the ability to understand the complex subject of pain, if approached in the right way.

Section topics include:
  • Discussion of tissue healing and nerve sensitization
  • Spreading pain
  • The brain's processing of a pain experience
  • Various bodily systems defending during a pain experience
  • Various treatment options to help with pain

Why Do I Hurt? contains various metaphors, examples and dozens of full-color images to enhance the learning experience.



Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD's Profile

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Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD, earned both an undergraduate as well as a master's degree in physiotherapy from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. He is an adjunct faculty member at St. Ambrose University, South College and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, teaching pain science. Adriaan has taught throughout the US and internationally for 20 years at numerous national and international manual therapy, pain science and medical conferences. He is a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist, Certified Pain Specialist and has authored and co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles related to spinal disorders and pain science. Adriaan completed his PhD on pain neuroscience education and is the Director of the Therapeutic Neuroscience Research Group - an independent collaborative initiative studying pain neuroscience. Adriaan is the Program Director of the Therapeutic Pain Specialist and Pain Science Fellowship post-graduate program for Evidence In Motion.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Adriaan Louw has employment relationships with OPTP, Medbridge, BehaVR and Evidence in Motion. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Adriaan Louw has no relevant non-financial relationships.


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