Month: March 2014

Psychology, The Limbic System And Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

The limbic system is a key component of an individual’s psychology. Mood, personality and risk reward behaviour are all intimately related to limbic function. The amygdala plays a particularly important role in this regard. The “thought viruses” discussed by Butler and Moseley [1] highlight how the amygdala and hippocampus, in particular, interact to produce behaviours that may then increase the likelihood of musculoskeletal symptoms. These behaviours may become learned further influencing symptoms. Mood can directly alter the pain experience. In a study of 65 patients, pain tolerance but not...

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Stress and Muscle Tone

Most people have had the experience of being told to relax their shoulders and realising just how much tension they had been carrying. This can be caused as part of the fight or flight response to stress. Muscle tone will tend to increase under stress, however not all muscles respond the same. Larger global muscles such as the muscles of the hips, back of legs and neck will tend to be most effected. Joint health relies on finely balanced muscle co-ordination and when disrupted this could disrupt joint function predisposing to both acute and chronic injury. Similarly, increased muscle tone increases...

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