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Chronic Pain, Central Sensitization and Physical Therapy

Chronic pain is a condition in the nervous system where a light switch seemingly got turned on and never got turned off. Patients initially experience pain because of some type of injury that has occurred (i.e. a noxious stimuli). This is nature’s way of helping us protect ourselves from further injury. The pain typically stops once the noxious stimuli has discontinued and enough time has passed for the injury to heal itself. Chronic pain occurs when patients continue to experience pain even though the noxious stimuli has stopped and the injury has healed with time. Read more.

The Role of Disc Nutrition in the Eitiology and Clinical Treatment of Disc Degeneration

Brief Summary:The purpose of this research study is to examine the effects of physical therapy on the spinal discs. Back pain is the number one cause of disability in the US, and the spine is the most common location of chronic pain in Veterans. Physical therapy is often very effective at improving patients’ back pain, but it does not work for everyone, and it is not understood how physical therapy alters the tissues within the spine. With this research the investigators hope to learn if the investigative team can measure changes to the spinal discs on MRI scans that might predict if a patient’s back pain will improve with physical therapy or not.

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