Movement representation techniques: it’s a fuzzy name, but it might just work!

A systematic review and meta-analysis has just come out in The Journal of Pain looking at the efficacy of “movement representation techniques” for people with limb pain. Now, you might ask “what is a movement representation technique”? Well, according to the authors of this review, a movement representation technique can encompass any therapy that … [Read more...]

When pain on the left causes pain on the right

My recent Journal of Pain article (Niederstrasser et al., 2015) can be summarised in one really long, cryptic and almost unintelligible sentence, which if you bear with me, I will explain: “If you have high levels of catastrophic thinking about pain and high fear of pain, and we inflict pain on one part of your body, then you are more likely to … [Read more...]

Is cognitive-behavioural therapy useful for neck pain?

Recently, I had the opportunity to complete a Cochrane systematic review on the effects of cognitive-behavioural therapy on pain, disability, psychological factors, and the quality of life among individuals with subacute and chronic neck pain. This review is the result of a fruitful two year collaboration , between my research team at the … [Read more...]

The benefits in taking a men’s health approach to pain

We know that there are sex and gender differences in the perception and experience of pain, with women generally reporting more painful episodes across their lifespan than men. While reasons for these sex differences focus on vulnerability factors (e.g., sex hormones), there are alternative ways of thinking about them. For example, as well as … [Read more...]


About 25 years ago the ideas around evidence-based practice consolidated and quickly became the paradigm under which healthcare professionals were expected to work. While the change in practice model had its teething-problems and there continue to be challenges, the notion that clinical decisions should be underpinned by high-quality clinical … [Read more...]

Michael’s marvellous microglia in mice and (not just) men talk at NeuPSIG 2015, Nice.

Michael Salter gave a fascinating plenary talk at NeuPSIG 2015, on the role of microglia in chronic pain. Microglia are currently a hot topic in pain research, but the world of neuroimmune interactions is pretty confusing for those of us outside it. This talk provided a little porthole for us to peer through, to make sense of some of that … [Read more...]

EP3 AND PainAdelaide April 2016

EP3 By the sea... Adelaide, Australia, 1-3 April 2016 AND PainAdelaide 2016, 4 April 2016 Five speakers to ignite your senses. Four days to learn, connect and be inspired. One unique Festival of Pain. What could be better than four days of pain-dedicated cutting edge education and learning? Prof Frank Keefe 
Prof Giandomenico … [Read more...]

Decoding Fake Pain

How easy is it to fake that you are in pain? This question has interested people for a long time, particularly those who have to make decisions about compensation claims related to chronic pain (where large amounts of money are often at stake) and anybody who feels a disconnect between other people’s pain expression and objective evidence for the … [Read more...]

Expanding placebo “responses” and the importance of language

It seems the possibility that "placebo responses" are getting bigger is newsworthy. A new systematic review just published in the journal PAIN[1] has been receiving a fair amount of attention. The headline finding is that the placebo “response” is growing in clinical trials of analgesic drugs for neuropathic pain. There are further interesting … [Read more...]

Could your state of mind influence CRPS recovery?

We know that recovery from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is variable: whilst some people make a relatively full recovery in a few months, others are left with pain and symptoms that persist for years [2].  What factors might influence this recovery process?  Current theories argue that in a way, CRPS can be viewed as an overprotective … [Read more...]