Is pain the same in boys and girls

Katelynn Boerner

The differences in the ways that boys and girls are expected to react to pain has long been the subject of folk wisdom and cultural idioms: Boys are expected to “tough it out” and “take it like a man”, while expressions of pain in girls are accepted and sometimes even encouraged. But are societal expectations of how boys and girls should react to … [Read more...]

Brace yourself

Mary O'Keeffe

Despite the popularity of exercise programmes that emphasise “core stability” for the prevention and treatment of chronic low back pain (LBP), numerous high quality randomised controlled trials (RCT) (e.g. here, here and here) have not found them to be superior to other therapies such as general exercise. In fact, core stability exercise programs … [Read more...]

How Risky is the Pain Treatment I am Considering

Matthew Hunsinger

When a medical practitioner prescribes a medical treatment for pain, one of my first questions is whether there are side effects or other potential risks. I contend that every pain treatment is inherently risky; the question is how much risk is associated with a particular treatment. Most of us probably rely on the medical practitioners with whom … [Read more...]

No man is an island

Sam McLean

Living in a disadvantaged neighborhood influences chronic pain development after motor vehicle collision, and this effect is moderated by a common genetic variation that influences HPA axis function. We all like to believe that we are impervious to our surroundings. It’s reassuring to feel that we are “captain of our own ship”, charting our own … [Read more...]

What central pain processing mechanisms could be responsible for the development of poor pain scores

John Barbis

When patients do not improve after surgery, the search for an answer can be complex and often disappointing. Valencia et al, in a well-performed, rather complex study, try to tease out the components of that answer [1]. Their study tries to determine what central pain processing mechanisms could be most responsible for the development of poor pain … [Read more...]

Acupuncture and a cracking review paper

Going over the archives, Neil wrote this after finding a  review paper written by Professor Donald Marcus "Is Acupuncture for Pain a Placebo Treatment? An examination of the evidence".  First published in The Rheumatologist, it is open access - which means you can read the full paper for free. Acupuncture, some dodgy maths and a cracking review … [Read more...]

The Language of Pain

It has long been one of my Sunday morning routines to read the Sunday New York times. In the July 12 edition of the “The Times” Joanna Burke offers an interesting commentary that caught my attention, “How To Talk About Pain”. There are several, as David Butler would say, “ nuggets” contained in here that provide insight into value and … [Read more...]

Chronic Pain: Lost Inhibition? PART TWO

In our last blog (Chronic Pain: Lost Inhibition?) we talked about the role of the thalamus in the development and maintenance of orofacial neuropathic pain. We reported that painful trigeminal neuropathic pain (PTN) is associated with altered thalamic anatomy, function and biochemistry, which may disturb central processing and play a key role in … [Read more...]

Enjoy a surf?

Swan neck

Margaret River in Western Australia has some of the best surfing in the world…great food and wine too…but that’s not all. There’s a bit of digital technology wave-riding happening over west too, with 2 new initiatives recently launched and freely available not matter where you live. painHEALTH:  aimed at helping people with persistent … [Read more...]

Can diagnostic uncertainty bias patients’ memory?

Danijela Serbic

Our thoughts shape our emotional and behavioural responses. This is a well-established principle in psychological research and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. We use preconceptions – known as “schemas” - to help us filter new and ambiguous information. These schemas are helpful in many ways, but they do not always serve us well: they will often … [Read more...]