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Product Review: The Explain Pain Handbook Protectometer

Written by Kento Kamiyama PT, DPT 

This past year David Butler and Lorimer Moseley just released a workbook called “The Explain Pain Handbook Protectometer”.  If you are not aware of the two authors mentioned they are physiotherapist from Australia who has done extensive research on the neuroscience of pain.  It is a game changing concept if you deal with pain a lot and it eases your mind as a clinician or as a patient that it is going to be okay. 
 
If you have no experience in the understanding of pain I would recommend the readings below: 
 
Books: 
1.  Explain Pain by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley (apparently they have a kindle edition for much cheaper now!)
3.  Why Do I Hurt? all the other Adrian Louw Books 
4.  Graded Motor Imagery by Larimer Moseley
 
Websites: 
 
Anyway, back to the workbook.  For the majority of my patients, I explain briefly about the mechanisms of pain.  It is very helpful for most,  however for some, you need to go a little further to guide them to recovery.  For those individuals, I give them a little worksheet that I have created in the past to help them with identifying possible patterns to their pain.   Although it was short and concise, I believe it was incomplete.  
 
When “The Explain Pain Handbook Protectometer” came out, I thought Butler and Moseley knew that I needed this.  
 
Understanding and learning about pain is a large part of decreasing pain intensity or threat perception threshold.  However, like mentioned before its only part of it.  The Protectometer handbook is a self help education and guidebook that helps the individual increase their awareness on what factors possibly affect their pain levels through signals such as DIMS and SIMS.  
 
DIMS and SIMS 
DIM = Danger in Me 
SIM = Safety in Me 
 
DIMS and SIMS are things the individual perceives it as danger or safety.  As mentioned above, DIMs are factors that are danger to the individual.  SIMs are factors that are safe for the individual.   Example DIMs may include MRI results of a herniated disc, mother suffering from debilitating back pain, etc.  SIMs include support from your family, healthy friends and family, understanding pain education, etc.  
 
The more DIMS the individual might have, the higher risk of hitting the pain threshold.  The more SIMS the individual might have, the lower the risk of hitting the pain threshold.  The point of the workbook is to eventually decrease DIMs and increased SIMs for optimal recovery.  
 
 
Since I am all about empowering the patient, this is a great tool to have for to help guide each individual to recovery.  Thanks Butler and Moseley, keep it coming!
Pros: 
–  A great workbook that empowers the patient 
–  Shorter than the Explain Pain book and easy to read with a lot of pictures
–  Have stickies that you can use to make it easy to participate 
 
Cons: 
–  Patient may not do fill it in 
–  Its $30.  I can give them the book I have but if they don’t use it, $30 can be a little expensive.  If the patient is willing to buy it, that works too.  

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