Non-specific chronic back pain and hyperalgesia – A different story told by laser stimulation

Thomas Weiss

Despite our best scientific endeavors, what actually causes the pain in chronic low back pain (CLBP) often remains unclear. Approximately 85 % of chronic back pain patients are classified as having non-specific low back pain [1] because a definitive diagnosis cannot be given. That is, pain cannot be confidently attributed to known pathoanatomical, … [Read more...]

A novel alternative to conventional pain killers?

Christoph Stein

In a recent clinical study we showed for the first time that a large fraction (about one third) of pain relief produced by morphine (the gold standard among pain killers) is mediated by opioid receptors outside the brain. In patients undergoing knee replacement surgery, the blockade of such peripheral opioid receptors by methylnaltrexone (an opioid … [Read more...]

Gender and the body language of pain

Ed Keogh

It is now well established that men and women show general differences in how they report and experience pain - women tend to report more pain, with greater severity and frequency than men. Examples are numerous, and range from laboratory-based pain induction studies on healthy adults through to epidemiological and clinical investigations of … [Read more...]

Do psychological therapies improve outcomes for children with chronic pain?

Emma Fisher

It is common for adolescents and children to experience chronic pain (Perquin et al., 2000). There are many negative implications associated with chronic pain such as limited social contact, lost days from school, and higher levels of anxiety and depression (Hunfeld et al., 2002; Logan, Simons, Stein, & Chastain, 2008; Walker, Guite, Duke, … [Read more...]

Music modulation of pain perception

Christine Dobek

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain -Bob Marley Playing music for pain relief isn’t exactly a new idea. Music has been used as a tool to promote physical and mental recovery for centuries, with the ancient Greeks initially describing music as a rational treatment strategy. Music is a highly desirable treatment tool for … [Read more...]

Can physical activity influence the course of low back pain?

Rafael Zambelli Pinto

It’s well known in the low back pain (LBP) field that conservative interventions have small to moderate effects at best.[1] Frustration with these small effects has prompted researchers to shift their attention to identifying prognostic factors. Prognostic factors are baseline factors that are associated with a worse or better disease outcome at a … [Read more...]

Capillary dysfunction in CRPS?

Leif ostergaard

Reports suggest that muscles lack oxygen and skin oxygenation is impaired in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). While CRPS might be related to tissue ischemia-reperfusion, the affected limb is often hyperperfused, suggesting that oxygen extraction is severely impaired instead. In a recent paper in Pain, we speculate that capillary flow … [Read more...]

Silencing phantom limb pain by silencing the DRG

Adahan haim

“The surgery was a success and the patient is dead.” This satirical saying sometimes reflects the outlook of patients and their rehabilitation teams when, despite completing a difficult rehabilitation trajectory, a patient is left with unbearable phantom limb pain. The patient mustered up super-human willpower to rehabilitate himself. The … [Read more...]

Change what you think, change what you feel

Tim salomons

Cognitive behavioural therapy reduces central sensitization Pain is not a simple sensory experience. Negative thoughts about the meaning of pain or unpleasant emotions like fear and depression can, in some cases, cause more suffering than the actual sensation. Psychological treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) target thoughts and … [Read more...]

On painful choices

Martien Schrooten1

People living with pain often find themselves in situations in which they have to choose between protecting themselves from pain and pursuing other plans or goals. For example, should I stay at home and rest to avoid worsening my pain or should I go to the office and impress my boss to get the promotion? Should I go to bed early so that I feel … [Read more...]