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Pain requires processing – How the experience of pain is influenced by Basic Body Awareness Therapy in patients with long-term pain

Journal article
Authors Adam Lundwall
Anton Ryman
Anna Bjarnegård Sellius
Kaisa Mannerkorpi
Published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Volume 23
Issue 4
Pages 701-707
ISSN 1360-8592
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 701-707
Language en
Keywords Basic body awareness therapy, Chronic pain, Pain management, Physiotherapy
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Background and purpose: Long-term pain is common and entails large costs to society. One physiotherapy treatment with documented positive effects for patients with long-term pain is Basic Body Awareness therapy (BBAT). However, studies are lacking about patients' experience of BBAT's influence on their pain. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how patients experience BBAT's influence on their long-term pain. Methods: For this qualitative interview study, participants were selected from two supervised BBAT groups. To qualify for the study, participants had to meet two inclusion criteria: having pain for at least 6 months, and attending BBAT for at least 6 months. Six females between the ages of 25 and 61 years were included. Pain duration ranged from 9 to 20 years, and duration of practicing BBAT ranged from 8 to 120 months. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and qualitative content analysis was performed. Results: The analysis revealed four main categories of BBAT experience: increases motivation, requires processing, increases control over pain and changes attitude to oneself, body and pain. Discussion: Patients with long-term pain experienced BBAT as being helpful in processing their pain because they were forced to face the pain instead of trying to ignore it. Participants experienced a decrease in pain through development of an increased sense of control as well as a changed attitude to themselves, their bodies and their pain. It is important for physiotherapists to understand that pain can increase during BBAT and to support the patients in this process during the therapy. © 2019 The Authors

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