Quantitative sensory tests: are they stable over time?

We use quantitative sensory testing (QST) to explore how somatosensory information is processed in the nervous system in people with painful conditions such as low back pain, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome. QST has shown promise for clinical applications such as evaluating responses to interventions (Grosen, Fischer et al. 2013), … [Read more...]

Data comparison made easy! A Core Outcome Measurement set for complex regional PAin syndrome Clinical sTudies (COMPACT)

This work was driven by a mutual desire to advance the understanding of the mechanisms and management of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). For many years, some of us working in the field of CRPS have been frustrated by the challenges of synthesising research evidence. Specifically, the absence of an international, standardised set of … [Read more...]

How does watching a parent in pain impact children’s own pain experiences?

Pain problems tend to run in families; if you have a parent with chronic pain you are also more likely to experience chronic pain yourself 1. While a simple explanation for this phenomenon is that parents and children share genetics that may predispose them to pain, research has shown that this does not fully explain the relationship, and thus begs … [Read more...]

How feeling upset might increase pain after a bad night

Emotions, sleep and pain are interlinked; however, we understand little about how these aspects of our wellbeing are connected. Does a poor night’s sleep make us feel grumpy, which in turn makes our pain worse? Or does feeling sad in the first place make people less likely to recover from a poor night’s sleep and wake up with increased bodily pain? … [Read more...]

What about congenital insensitivity to pain?

We had a question recently from Mensah Y Amedzo who asked: Hi Lorimer, with regards to this statement “nociception is neither sufficient nor necessary for pain” how do you explain the fact that people with Congenital Insensitivity to Pain never experience pain even though other sensations are intact and they obviously have a brain. They don’t … [Read more...]

Meet the Winners of the EPIC Scholarship

This is SO EPIC!  We are very excited to announce that 3 winners have been selected to receive financial support to attend the 3rd World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain in Washington DC in October 2017. What is this EPIC Scholarship? The EPIC Scholarship (short for Educational Possibilities in Collaboration) was born at a conference when 2 … [Read more...]

Pain and the sum of parts: nociceptive integration

The nociceptive system has evolved a range of intriguing characteristics. Spatial summation is one such characteristic, whereby increasing the area of a stimulus, or the distance between multiple stimuli, results in more intense pain—not only a greater area of pain. This befits pains’ protective function, because larger/multi-site injuries are … [Read more...]

Importance of intact spatial representation for crossed hands analgesia

In recent years there has been growing interest in how pain and nociception are influenced by visual and proprioceptive inputs. Research has demonstrated that nociceptive inputs, like tactile inputs, are localized using two frames of reference (1). One is somatotopic and it is based on the somatotopic maps in primary somatosensory cortices (S1). … [Read more...]

What app is good for my back?

The rate of smartphone ownership in Australia is among the highest in the world. According to the Deloitte 2015 Consumer Survey, almost 80% of Australians own a smartphone. Online technologies, such as apps, can help us manage our health and they are influencing healthcare in new and exciting ways. There are currently over 259,000 health apps … [Read more...]

The science and philosophy of the meaning of pain

This is the seventh in a series of posts on BiM about chapters in the edited collection, Meanings of Pain (2016, Springer). -- I was delighted to be asked to present a chapter from the recent collection Meanings of Pain. Dr Smadar Bustan's contribution- A Scientific and Philosophical Analysis of Meanings of Pain in Studies of Pain and … [Read more...]