Pain communication through body posture: The many postures of pain

Joe Walsh

Pain is not just a sensory experience. Of course, there is a key biological element to pain, but there is also a much broader range of factors that may influence how we perceive threatening events and noxious stimuli and may feed into the pain experience. An important factor that influences our pain perception is the social context in which we … [Read more...]

Pain and mortality in older adults, what is the relationship?

Rachael Docking

In those of working age there is a known association between pain and increased risk of mortality (excess mortality) for both men and women. Macfarlane et al (2001) found that adults with regional/widespread pain were at increased risk of mortality in the 8 years following onset, and these deaths were predominantly due to external causes (such as … [Read more...]

Can’t reduce your pain? Try a different way!

Hadas Nahman

Our nervous system has the capability to reduce pain by activation of specific pathways that exert inhibitory effects on the messages entering the central nervous system during or after threat or damage to the body. This is called endogenous analgesia. Several paradigms can be used to test its capacity and evaluate its efficiency. One paradigm, … [Read more...]

What does tDCS do for pain?

Arne May

We’ve heard a lot about non-invasive electrical brain stimulation recently (e.g. Body in Mind blog post tDCS – negotiating the 'rising tide' of hype), but does it really work for chronic pain? Well, some people who conducted trials in chronic pain populations claim it does [e.g. 1–5], but taking a closer look at the evidence is disappointing: the … [Read more...]

Ebola and the viral spread of information

ebola-on-social-media-global-discussion-660x541

Ebola is increasingly in the news with much information - and misinformation - in the media. The following are extracts adapted from two blog posts by Symplur [1,2], who are not only following the spread of information about this disease, but also looking at whether organisations and people who know much about Ebola are able to influence this … [Read more...]

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...]