Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT) is a form of functional medicine centered on patient’s beliefs, fears and related behaviors like movement or lifestyle. CFT is used in the management of chronic pain i.e. pain that has surpassed 6 months or any pain that extends beyond the required healing period. The integrated behavioral approach treats Lower Back Pain (LBP) including malignancy, fracture and inflammatory disorder (O’Sullivan et al. 408-23). This method assumes that pain is an emotional and sensory experience caused by fear, negative beliefs, lost hope and anxiety. The physiotherapist builds a relationship with the patient and carefully listens to his/her story to be able to determine the key modifiable factors for management. This helps the clinician to effectively tailor a treatment program that matches the patient’s story. CFT can be used alongside other techniques like medical acupuncture, ultrasound, laser therapy and others.
The modern society is experiencing an unprecedented increase in complex, chronic illnesses like cancer, autoimmune disorders and mental illness. Traditional medication for these conditions has failed to deliver effective solutions therefore creating a gap for a treatment method that can address underlying causes of the disease. Functional medicine, including CFT, comes in handy with its hallmarks like patient-centered care, science-based approach, and integration of superior medical practices. For instance, biomedical methods for Disabling Low Back Pain have proved to be inferior, causing a shift to CFT which has proved to be effective (O’Sullivan et al. 408-23).
O’Sullivan, Peter, B., Caneiro, J.P., O’Keefe, Mary, Smith, Anne, Dankaerts, Wim, Fersum, Kjartan, and O’Sullivan Kieran. “Cognitive Functional Therapy: An Integrated Behavioral Approach for the Targeted Management of Disabling Low Back Pain”. Physical Therapy. Vol. 98, no. 5, 1 May, 2018, pp. 408-23. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzy022