Management of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in an Adult With Down Syndrome Using a Modified Pain Neuroscience Approach: A Case Report
The use of pain neuroscience education (PNE) in the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain is well documented in the literature for the adult population. However, the use of this component within the larger biopsychosocial approach has not been examined in adults with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of this case report is to describe the utilization of a PNE approach combined with exercise in the physical therapy management of chronic musculoskeletal pain in an adult with Down syndrome.
The patient was a 40-year-old man with Down syndrome who presented with chronic low back pain that affected his sleep, participation at work, and social activities. Modified metaphors were used to assist the patient in understanding his pain experience as part of a multi-modal program that included exercise and aquatic therapy.
Upon concluding 11 weeks of treatment, the patient returned to his prior work schedule and social activities with a pain rating at worst of 3/10 on the numeric pain rating scale with only occasional pain episodes. His disability score on the Oswestry Disability Index improved by 39% relative to baseline.
The findings demonstrate how utilizing PNE within a physical therapy plan of care was used in the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain to improve function in an adult with Down syndrome.
Osborne, M., & Grimes, J. K. (2022). Management of chronic musculoskeletal pain in an adult with Down syndrome using a modified pain neuroscience approach: A case report. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 1–6. Doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2022.2095682
Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
Taylor & Francis