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Why Do I Hurt?

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Patients don’t have to live in pain. Studies show patients who have been educated about the neuroscience of pain are able to function better, exercise more and experience less pain. Adriaan Louw puts the science of pain in a format accessible to all. 

Pain is normal – living in pain is not. Chronic pain is commonly due to an extra-sensitive nervous system and how the brain processes information from the nerves. Understanding more about the neuroscience of pain has been shown to allow patients to hurt less, exercise more and regain control of their lives. Why Do I Hurt? teaches patients the science of pain in approachable language with metaphors, examples and images.

Written by physical therapist and clinical neuroscience researcher Adriaan Louw.

Illustrated. Softcover, 54 pages. Non-returnable.

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Review Item Review Item
Overall Rating
January 28, 2015 / Jennifer

Great patient resource

This book is a quick and easy read to help patients understand pain. It is a good resource for clinicians to refer to when re-enforcing pain education. I use it or at least refer to it on some level with most of my patients. I would like to be able to give it to more patients but it is cost prohibitive for some.

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May 6, 2014 / Monica B., PT - Reno, NV

Why Do I Hurt?

Great little reference book to help educate patients and clients. (review submitted by comment card)

Overall Rating
August 22, 2013 / Kirk Laughlin, Physical Therapist - Lincoln, NE

Required reading for Chronic Pain

This book should be requred reading for anyone who has chronic pain or treats people with chronic pain. The book does a tremendous job explaining in a very non-threatening way why the individual is experiencing the symptoms they have. Many people with chronic pain have been told that their symptoms don't fit with their injury so they must be "faking it" or it is "psychological". In very simple terms this book explains exactly why they are having their symptoms. Many of my patients get an immediate improvement in their daily function after reading this book, just because it gives them some credibility and they know the cause of their pain. It makes the rest of my treament go much better when they finally understand why they hurt.

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August 21, 2013 / Tibby Martin, Retired R.N. - Springfield, MO

Exceptional title, a frequently asked question by those living with chronic pain.

The text, "Why Do I Hurt," was loaned to me by my physical therapist, Rich Maas after experiencing a severe flare-up of low-back pain. The MRI had revealed multilevel lumbar spondylosis with evidence of previous right facetectomy at L2-3 with diffuse disk bulges from L-1 down to and L5-S1. I had been told by a physician that I needed a spinal fusion or I would wind up in a wheelchair! My son, who is a physical therapist, advised me to see Rich Maas. Mr. Maas educated me on the physiology of pain and loaned me the above-referenced text. This book gave me HOPE and explained the neuroscience of pain in a way that anyone could understand. My fears were allayed and as a diabetic I set my goals including getting off NSAIDS to protect my kidneys and strengthening the inner core. "Why Do I Hurt," has literally changed my life! I cancelled my appointment with the neurosurgeon, am off all medications prescribed for the back pain. Yes, I still experience pain; however, this is lessening and I am assured with this newly gain knowledge that I will be alright. I highly recommend this book; it is an amazing resource. I intend to get my own copy. Thank you Adraaan Louw for this gift of knowledge! It truly has changed my life. As a retired R.N., I do a lot of volunteering and intend on sharing what I have learned from you with others.

Overall Rating
August 20, 2013 / Dana Scott, DPT - Springfield, Missouri

Great Patient Resource

This book is written in a way that is both easy for the therapist to explain and easy for the patient to understand. The illistrations are great and are so helpful in bringing the concepts "to life". Patients seem drawn to this book and have been eager to purchase their own copy. I have struggled in the past with my attempts to educate the patient these concepts. This book really helps the process. It is a must read and great reference for any therapist.

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August 18, 2013 / Eileen Miller, PT - Liberty/ NY

Simple and powerful

This book is very concise, clear, easy to read. My patients express that these concepts really help them overcome their fears about their pain and being active. By understanding what is going on in their body and nervous system, they feel less afraid which actually helps them to relax and then they have less pain. It serves as a helpful guide to how to return to their active life, safely.

Overall Rating
August 17, 2013 / Kory Zimney, PT - Sioux City, IA

Great resource for patients, students and practicing PT's

This is a great resource to use in the clinic to send home with patients or use as part of the education process with patients (great images) to help them further understand their pain experience. As an Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor with APTA I make sure this book is required reading for any student that does a clinical internship with me to help them gain a greater understanding of the neuroscience of pain. If you treat patients in pain or if you have pain you need this book to help them or you understand why they or you hurt.

Overall Rating
August 16, 2013 / Louie - Las Vegas NV

Why do I hurt?

This is an excellent patient -directed book that explains the science of pain and how pain works. Studies have shown that when people know what their pain means and does not mean, they cope with musculoskeletal problems. However, when they are fearful, anxious and uncertain what their pain might mean, and why they still hurt, then they cannot cope with musculoskeletal problems and they become larger than life. This book helps people acquire a deeper understanding of 'why they hurt' and is invaluable.

Overall Rating
August 16, 2013 / Ina Diener, Physiotherapy clinician and lecturer - Stellenbosch, South Africa

Easy to use neurophysiological education

Since we have imported a few hundred copies of this book to South Africa to teach our OMT course students how to explain pain to their patients, we can see the difference in their communication with patients in pain. Our students, as well as our patients find the book easy to use and to understand. I think that this book has really facilitated introducing NE to physiotherapists

Overall Rating
August 16, 2013 / Todd Petty PT CSMT -Tulsa, Oklahoma, Physical Therapist - Tulsa, Oklahoma

Why do I hurt!

When the pain manuals came out and were offered by OPTP, I could not wait to order at least one of each! I have all from ISPI and use at least one everyday in the clinic for all my pain patients. I have received not one negative comment from a patient that has read them. Without reservation I would recommend all the Neuroscience Education Booklets, especially "Why do I hurt". I do really feel that I have the advantage and upper hand on affecting our most difficult pain patients.

Overall Rating
August 16, 2013 / Emily Parrish, Physical Therapist - Raytown, MO

Why Do I Hurt?

I have provided this reading material to some of my chronic pain patients as part of their homework. They have been very compliant with questions and also providing personal feedback. I have had several co-workers also provide positive feedback on "how easy it is to understand".

Overall Rating
August 15, 2013 / Josh, Physical Therapist - Beloit, WI

Why Do I Hurt?

This concise and easy to read resource bridges the gap in many instances for patients dealing with pain. I have used other resources before which can be daunting in length. This small book easily complements clinical neuroscience education without intimidating the reader with volume as some other texts may have in the past.

Overall Rating
August 15, 2013 / Karen Litzy, Physical therapist - New York, NY

great information

Why Do I Hurt is a great book for both the practicing therapist and the patient. As physical therapists, the primary reason we see patients is pain. This book is able to break down very complex neurological concepts about pain to something that is very useable in the clinic. I often quote the book when I am explaining pain to the a patient. I have also given the book to patients and they have reported having a better understanding of pain and are less fearful of their pain. I would highly recommend this book to every physical therapist!

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