New light on bone formation in CRPS?


The variability of signs and symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), may represent between-patient variability in the pathological mechanisms at work. One often forgotten CRPS feature is impaired bone formation yet this has been found in up to fifty percent of patients regardless of disease duration [1]. German Surgeon Paul Sudeck … [Read more...]

The pain-adaptive individual: do you have a superior pain response?

Everyone responds differently to pain. We know that. But can we meaningfully group people by how they respond? A recent study by Zheng et al. (2014) has found that by exposing a sample of healthy, pain free participants to a common, stable threat, and then measuring their pain response, we can differentiate an individual’s pain response into one of … [Read more...]

Sense of ownership is necessary to anticipate pain

The awareness of being the owner of one’s body is probably the most common basic experience in life and is rarely considered as a cognitive function – just like speech or memory. This sense of ownership can be disrupted by brain injury, leading to a striking neuropsychological condition called somatoparaphrenia, defined as the acquired delusion … [Read more...]

Which treatments for which patients?

Adam Hirsh

How do clinicians decide which treatments to provide to which patients? One might assume a simple process: if patient X has condition Y, treatment Z is provided. For many conditions, it is this straightforward – treatment guidelines are clear enough to remove any guesswork. Unfortunately, clear guidelines do not exist for chronic pain. Even the … [Read more...]

Mindful Teens Cope Better With Pain

Mark Petter

Mindfulness refers to purposefully paying attention to moment-to-moment experiences in a nonjudgmental and accepting manner [1]. Although mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist traditions, there is nothing inherently religious or esoteric about the concept. In fact, all people are more or less mindful in their day-to-day lives.For example, right … [Read more...]

What is the relationship between physical activity and low back pain?

The Australian Twin low BACK pain (AUTBACK) study Almost all guidelines for the prevention and management of low back pain (LBP) emphasise the importance of regular physical activity and exercise [1, 2]. Surprisingly, the question of whether physical inactivity in general, or specific forms of physical activity, are risk or protective factors for … [Read more...]

Exercise for chronic whiplash – the road to Nullville.

It seems like only yesterday I was blogging about an important trial of targeted care for acute whiplash, which like other such trials returned a convincingly negative result. It seems that our best efforts at improving outcomes in the early stages after whiplash injury do not achieve their goals. But what about when we intervene with a group of … [Read more...]

PainAdelaide 2014 – Wrapping-up and looking forward

Wrap-upThanks so much for being a part of possibly (probably!) the best little pain meeting in the world - PainAdelaide 2014.  We thought it was a roaring success and a large part of that is because of the feel in the room, to which you clearly contributed!  Our overseas visitors were very impressed with the meeting. They commented on the … [Read more...]

Tactile acuity training meets back pain meets Frankie goes to Hollywood

Cormac Ryan

One of the most exciting areas of pain science at the moment is brain training. To me this is the idea that the patient’s brain image of the painful area does not match the physical body itself and this mismatch, for some reason, maintains the pain. Brain training interventions attempt to correct this mismatch by reshaping the brain image to … [Read more...]

Illusory self-identification with an avatar reduces arousal responses to painful stimuli


Pain experience can be modulated at different levels of processing and is influenced by higher cognitive function like attention and expectations. It has been shown recently that looking at one’s own hand, but not at a neutral object or another person’s hand, induces analgesic effects while receiving acute painful stimulation (Longo, et al., … [Read more...]