The Gruffalo’s Trial and some blatant advertising

The following blog is an adapted editorial that I published earlier this year in the journal – Pain and Rehabilitation: The Journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association (PPA). The journal has been on the go for over 20 years and was started by the late Louis Gifford who was a founder member of the PPA. I am currently the Editor-in-chief of this … [Read more...]

tDCS – negotiating the “rising tide” of hype.

By now most of you will have heard of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). It’s been all over the media in recent years and original research has been flooding through the neuroscience and clinical journals. In a nutshell it involves the non-invasive delivery of low intensity direct current applied to the brain via electrodes that are … [Read more...]

Changing beliefs in the face of adversity: preoperative pain education tested

Here at BiM it’s no secret that we are very interested in pain education – so called Explaining Pain or EP. Using examples from current thinking in pain science, EP posits that the more one knows about their pain, and the less threatening one perceives their circumstances to be, the better the (actual) pain should be [1-3].  There is now strong … [Read more...]

A lack of variability in people with pain? I’m intrigued…

A recent paper by Falla and colleagues [1] evaluated back muscle activity (via electromyography) during a repetitive lifting task and compared two groups: a chronic/recurrent low back pain group and a healthy control group. What is unique about this study is that they evaluated back muscle activity using a grid of electrodes to characterise the … [Read more...]

Working where it really matters: Botulinum toxin A targets pain hypersensitivity in the CNS

Ivica Matak

Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A), an enzyme produced by Clostridium botulinum, owes its potency to its exquisite ability to invade neurons and to block the vesicular release of neurotransmitters. By cleaving a peptide bond on a synaptic protein called synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25), BoNT/A prevents the synaptic vesicles from fusing … [Read more...]

Is one question enough to screen for depression and anxiety

Silje Reme

Psychological factors, such as depression and anxiety, are significant contributors in the transition from acute to chronic pain. A person suffering from acute low back pain with additional symptoms of anxiety and/or depression has a higher risk of becoming a chronic pain patient than a person without these additional symptoms. Furthermore, … [Read more...]

Can low back pain be influenced by pain in the front of the body?

John Panagopoulos

As a physio who works in a busy clinic and treats lots of different people, one of the phenomena that I’ve observed over the years is how many patients, who present with back or neck pain, and also mention they have lots of gut / reproductive problems. These gut problems are generally mild symptoms like feeling bloated and constipated. Even when … [Read more...]

Low-back pain, a consequence of cumulative mechanical loading?

Jaap van Dieen

In a recent reaction posted on this website, it was stated that systematic reviews typically find little or no relationship between physical loading and low-back pain. The author cited three reviews, seemingly providing solid evidence in support of this statement. However, these reviews are part of a series produced by the same group, according to … [Read more...]

Risk Factors for Low Back Pain

Jeffrey B. Taylor

As with most orthopaedic injuries, the greatest risk factor for developing low back pain (LBP) is a history of low back injury. Because of this, an initial injury to the lumbar spine may develop into a long history of dealing with recurrent bouts of pain and reduced function that emanate from a spine injury. Therefore, investing in intervention … [Read more...]

PhD researchers of the world, unite and take over!

Pain science in motion

PhD researchers often have a struggle to get their work (in progress) onto the stage of an international congress. Indeed, places on stage of the large international pain congresses are limited, and they are traditionally allocated to the leaders in the field.  The first colloquium in the world to focus on PhD researchers in the field of pain … [Read more...]