Graded Motor Imagery

Did you know that pain comes from your brain? Your brain has billions of neurons. These neurons can learn to form connections with other neurons to send signals to specific destinations or amplify these signals. This connected network of neurons is called a neurotag. If you fall, get into an auto accident or otherwise suffer a traumatic injury, neurotags in your brain will send pain signals to the injured part of your body to protect you from further injuring yourself as you heal.

However, when the pain becomes chronic, it literally changes how the brain and the nervous system work. The neurotag networks in your brain can grow, connect with other neurotags and become overactive. The overactive neurotags can then bombard the injured part with pain signals even to the point of the pain becoming disproportionate to your condition. This pain cycle can result in debilitating chronic pain that can persist for months and even years.

How can I break this pain cycle?

Initial research indicates that patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and other chronic pain conditions may benefit from Graded Motor Imagery (GMI) to "retrain the brain".

GMI is a step-by-step process that helps patients break the pain cycle and regain function. Your therapist will you through imagined movement to challenge situations that typically evoke pain by helping you to optimize sensory-motor processing and gradually engage the cortical motor networks at a comfortable pace to avoid causing symptom flare-ups. Then, you will be able to perform this movement on your own because you have retrained your brain to stop producing the protective pain response. Over time, you will be able to start enjoying day-to-day activities that used to cause you pain.

Contact us for more information on GMI or to set up an appointment.