Is “how much?” the right question to ask about exercise for pain?

  Exercise is widely accepted to be beneficial for health and is increasingly prescribed as treatment for many diseases and other chronic health conditions. Many studies in both humans and rodents have investigated the effectiveness of exercise as a treatment for chronic pain. Although the efficacy of exercise in rodent models of persistent … [Read more...]

Explain Pain Supercharged is here!

After many years of writing, discussing, researching, washing down toasted ham and cheese croissants with copious amounts of coffee, arguing and testing, Lorimer and I have completed a clinical manual for anyone involved in pain treatment – and after all of it we’re still even talking to each other! We’ve been asked over and over for a book … [Read more...]

All Fatigue is Not Created Equal: Why it Matters, and What it Means for Pain Management

Have you ever felt so tired that you wished you could hibernate? Or so out of energy that you wanted to plug into a wall outlet and recharge?  Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably experienced the fatigue of a long day at work, a workout, or a poor night of sleep. This feeling is not only physical; emotional and mental fatigue can lead to … [Read more...]

6 Ways We’re Helping Persisting Pain in Rural Australia

The journey from southern Australia from Melbourne to Adelaide has begun and is now in its second day. Check out the daily happenings and in the meantime this is a reminder of why cyclists are riding nearly 900km this week: The contribution of rural Australia cannot be underestimated. For a long time, we rode “on the sheep’s back” and nowadays … [Read more...]

Paracetamol for acute low back pain – a cheap fix or a waste of health resources?

Many of us have the humble paracetamol pill in the cupboard at home, and reach for it when we experience pain. But recent research shows that paracetamol does not provide more pain relief than a placebo pill in low back pain and osteoarthritis [1]. A more detailed way of explaining this is that paracetamol does not provide extra pain relief for … [Read more...]

Opening the “black box” of interventions

The importance of accounting for change over time when investigating how our treatments work Whenever we test a treatment or intervention in the form of a randomised clinical trial (RCT), we should be interested in how and why it was successful (or unsuccessful) at improving patient outcomes and which specific elements or components of the … [Read more...]

Changing pain thresholds with classical conditioning

Our previous post about a classical conditioning model for pain generated some lively discussion.  Some argued vehemently that pain cannot be a classically conditioned response, and others argued vehemently that of course it can and we have known this for decades.  We haven’t yet pinned our colours to any particular mast – we’d like to see the … [Read more...]

Classification of patients with low back-related leg pain: a systematic review

“Can clinically relevant subgroups of low back pain be identified?” Amongst other very important questions this was highlighted by an international panel of leading low back pain (LBP) researchers in primary care, as a relevant area of research to tackle the enormous burden of LBP. Many classification systems have been published, where researchers … [Read more...]

Chronic pain can be lessened by an ‘out of body’ illusion

If you’ve ever heard of stories in which people report having an ‘out of body experience’ (OBE) during a traumatic incident like a car crash you might be able to guess why there could be a link between OBEs and chronic pain. Some scientists have suggested that the very vivid hallucination that is an OBE can sometimes serve an adaptive function by … [Read more...]

Mechanisms and Management of Pain for the Physical Therapist – Book Review

I arrived at the University of Iowa to begin the DPT program with the expectation and excitement of learning how to be a human body mechanic. I had an undergraduate education in engineering, architecture, and education, with a minors in physics and math, so I was perfectly suited for the Newtonian approach to physical therapy. I was ready to jump … [Read more...]