Communication and chronic low back pain; are there lessons from Aboriginal Australians?

Ivan Lin

“I can’t really understand ‘em” (Middle aged Aboriginal man with chronic low back pain) Have you ever heard someone say this or words of similar effect after they have seen a health practitioner such as a doctor, surgeon, physiotherapist or chiropractor for treatment for low back pain? Have you ever experienced this feeling yourself as a … [Read more...]

A clash of beliefs: why our Western approach to pain didn’t work in a rural Zulu community

Graduating as a health professional can be both exciting and daunting. When we first qualified as physiotherapists, we couldn’t wait to get started. We were sent to a beautiful, rural, remote area of South Africa where we started clinical work under minimal supervision. But it was not long before we found ourselves out of our depth and wondering … [Read more...]

Congresses and cash – the BiM flag flies high

A big congratulations to the Body in Mind research group, who flew a high flag at two recent congresses - The Low Back Pain Forum in Brazil, and the World Congress on Pain in Argentina. From James: The Low Back Pain Forum has always been a small and highly prestigious meeting (150 of the world’s expert back pain researchers) that can be a hard … [Read more...]

Exercise for chronic whiplash: does it matter how we do it?

Zoe Michaleff

In the grand scheme of things there is a dearth of high quality research evaluating the effectiveness of treatments for people with a chronic whiplash injury. Much of what has been done has been directed to investigating the effectiveness of exercise interventions. ‘Exercise’ for chronic whiplash has taken many forms including neck specific … [Read more...]

Are pain and disability associated with thoughts and feelings?

You have probably heard that a person’s psychological state (such as their mood, emotions, thoughts and beliefs) can influence the pain they experience and also how they respond to pain. In the past, lots of research has been conducted showing the influence of these psychological factors on pain amongst healthy volunteers (who sign up for pain … [Read more...]

How do I love thee? One size does not fit all

Pain is often considered a personal experience, but is in fact rarely private. Pain occurs in and is shaped by an interpersonal context. Specifically, pain grabs the attention of the person in pain and also – through expressive behaviours - the attention of others in their environment. In turn, how the observer responds impacts upon the sufferer’s … [Read more...]

NIH Task Force on Research Standards for Chronic Low Back Pain

Official photo-Deyo.

In 2009-10, the NIH Pain Consortium convened two workshops on chronic low back pain, noting that researchers use varied inclusion criteria, definitions, baseline assessments, and outcome measures. Such variation impedes our ability to compare studies, replicate findings, pool data, resolve conflicts, and achieve consensus. It was recommended that … [Read more...]

Which is the best treatment for an individual with back pain

Martine Barons

Low back pain is a very common problem and there is no known cause for the majority of cases. In clinical trials, many treatments seem to offer small, short-lived effects but no treatment comes out on top. In our paper [1], we are interested in which treatment is most likely to be effective for a particular individual. For this we used data from … [Read more...]

First, do no harm

All the medics out there will be familiar with the third stanza of the Hippocratic oath: 'I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone'. The rest of us don’t have such an oath but I think we might need one. In the last three weeks, I have seen eight people with chronic, … [Read more...]

The World Congress on Pain. What would YOU go to if you were going?

Next week sees many of the Body in Mind team and collaborators join five thousand or so other pain-nuts in Buenos Aires for the 15th World Congress on Pain. We at BiM are well aware that many of you are not able to go and we are going to take on the significant challenge of bringing (bits of) the conference back to you. However, you have to help … [Read more...]