Pain science 2: Chronic PHT pain

Understanding Chronic Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy Pain: A Comprehensive Guide


Welcome to this insightful podcast episode, where we delve deep into the realm of chronic proximal hamstring tendinopathy. This painful condition affects many, from athletes to everyday individuals. In this podcast, we aim to equip you with the knowledge necessary to comprehend this condition, provide evidence-based treatment options, and debunk common misconceptions. I’m Brody Sharp, an online physiotherapist and a fellow proximal hamstring tendinopathy warrior. Whether you’re an athlete or not, this podcast will empower you to take the right steps towards overcoming this condition.

Episode Overview

In this episode, we will explore the complex relationship between pain, the brain, and chronic conditions like proximal hamstring tendinopathy. We’ll dive into the fascinating world of pain science and discover how the brain can reorganize itself during prolonged pain episodes. You’ll gain valuable insights into the process of pain, its connections to emotional and psychological factors, and how you can take control of your rehabilitation journey.

The Brain and Pain

Pain is a complex and often misunderstood sensation. It’s crucial to recognize that the intensity of pain doesn’t necessarily correlate with the extent of tissue damage. The brain relies on various sensory cues, including memory, reasoning, and emotions, to gauge the severity of pain. It assesses the context and interprets what it perceives as a threat.

The Chronic Pain Challenge

Chronic pain, as opposed to acute pain, extends beyond tissue repair. While inflammation and blood flow facilitate healing during the acute phase, chronic pain can persist even after structural healing is complete. The brain’s role in this chronic pain often leads to misunderstanding, as some may interpret it as merely “in your head.” However, all pain is generated by the brain and is undoubtedly real. Understanding this process is essential to managing chronic pain effectively.

The Brain’s Power Over Pain

We see the brain’s influence on pain through phenomena such as phantom limb pain and hypnosis. Phantom limb pain occurs in individuals with amputated limbs or congenital limb absence, further emphasizing the brain’s central role in generating pain. Hypnosis can also alleviate pain during surgeries, showcasing the brain’s power in controlling pain perception.

Chronic Pain and Brain’s Role

When pain becomes persistent and disruptive, it’s challenging to fathom why the brain continues to signal danger. Discovering the reasons behind the brain’s persistent pain signals is key to finding solutions.

It’s All About the Brain

While it may sound simplistic, understanding that pain is a product of the brain is crucial. It empowers individuals to take control of their pain management and recovery. The brain’s role in pain processing is not a negative aspect; it merely reflects its capacity to influence pain perception.

Recognizing the Connection

One common issue in chronic pain is the connection between emotional well-being and pain levels. Emotions, stress, and depression can exacerbate pain and hinder recovery. Recognizing this link is crucial for effective pain management.

Psychological Component

If you’ve experienced depression, anxiety, or emotional struggles during your pain journey, it’s essential to seek professional psychological help. Addressing the psychological aspect of your recovery can be as vital as addressing the physical component.

Self-Reflection and Empowerment

Take time to reflect on your pain experience, how you perceive it, and the emotional context surrounding it. Understanding your pain’s impact on your life is a critical step in managing it effectively.

Tips for Chronic Pain Management

Here are five practical tips to help you navigate the challenges of chronic pain:

  1. Find enjoyable activities that don’t trigger pain to boost your mood and distract from the pain.
  2. Seek clear answers and develop a management plan in collaboration with a healthcare professional.
  3. Establish a clear management plan with goals and a timeline to create a sense of control.
  4. Be mindful of hyper-vigilance towards pain and practice distraction techniques.
  5. Focus on positive aspects and engage in activities that enhance your well-being, physically and emotionally.


Understanding chronic proximal hamstring tendinopathy pain is a complex journey that involves more than just physical factors. It’s a process influenced by the brain, emotions, and psychology. By grasping the brain’s role in pain perception and taking proactive steps to manage your condition, you can regain control over your life and embark on a path to recovery.

Remember, knowledge is power.