Generating Much Interest (aka GMI)

Graded motor imagery (GMI) for the treatment of chronic pain has certainly been generating much interest recently. Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to publish a systematic review and meta-analysis - with a pretty snazzy bunch of researchers might I add - looking at the effects of GMI and its components on chronic pain. We published our article … [Read more...]

Potluck? Might Cannabis reduce neuropathic pain?

The Journal of Pain’s 4th most downloaded article in 2013 (Wilsey ey al 2013) is a study of vaporised cannabis for the treatment of neuropathic pain.[1]  Thirty-nine patients, with various types of refractory neuropathic pain, participated in a double-blind crossover study, receiving low-dose (1.29%), medium dose (3.53%) or placebo cannabis in each … [Read more...]

Bisphosphonates for chronic low back pain? An early test.

Bisphosphonates are well-established in the management of osteoporosis. These drugs retard bone resorption by targeting osteoclast cells. They encourage osteoclast apoptosis, a type of cell self-destruction. But bisphosphonates have been indulging in a bit of mission creep as they have been demonstrated to have analgesic properties. It is thought … [Read more...]

Presence Through the Eyes of a Child

mel slater virtual small body

Using a head-mounted display and body tracking suit, entering into a virtual reality, you can experience yourself as a child of about 4 years old.  You look into a mirror, or directly down towards your own body, but you see the child body instead.  The brain appears to be remarkably flexible in quickly accepting the proposition that your body is … [Read more...]

Cytokines and all the ills that flesh is heir to

Cytokines are engaged in a perpetual identity crisis of sorts. Their role in healing and restoration of tissue integrity and homeostasis is invaluable. Yet, simultaneously, their involvement in multiple medical conditions points to their darker nature.  Given that inflammation is a common factor in many diseases, cytokines are of considerable … [Read more...]

The Fear-Avoidance Model moves forward

Petra Karsdorp, Stéphanie Volders, Ann Meulders, Judy Veldhuijzen

New research from the '7th World Congress on Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies’ Cognitive and behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most widely researched and used approach in psychology. A recent review of 108 meta-analyses showed that, when compared to other treatments (for psychological problems), CBT generally proves to be equally or more … [Read more...]

Does pain affect slow wave sleep – inference

happy rat

A brief review of the paper: Disturbances in slow-wave sleep (SWS) are induced by models of bilateral inflammation, neuropathic, and postoperative pain, but not osteoarthritic pain in rats. [1] Part 3 of 3: how would humans be affected by reduced slow wave sleep? Though the mechanisms between noxious stimuli and SWS are yet to be fully … [Read more...]

Does pain affect slow wave sleep – critique

A brief review of the paper: Disturbances in slow-wave sleep (SWS) are induced by models of bilateral inflammation, neuropathic, and postoperative pain, but not osteoarthritic pain in rats. [1] Part 2 of 3: critique of the study Closer examination of the data provided shows that the greater the reduction in percentage of SWS2 (deeper SWS) … [Read more...]

Does pain affect slow wave sleep – summary

A brief review of the paper: Disturbances in slow-wave sleep are induced by models of bilateral inflammation, neuropathic, and postoperative pain, but not osteoarthritic pain in rats. [1] Part 1 of 3: summary of the study Patients presenting with acute or chronic pain commonly report sleep problems, although few studies have attempted to use … [Read more...]

Antibiotics for low back pain revisited. Important questions asked.

Back in March we blogged about a new and intriguing trial published in the European Spine Journal (ESJ) that appeared to demonstrate that for a group of low back pain sufferers, a course of antibiotics may be an effective treatment. We got to this trial early, when it was published online but not yet in print, and we reported it in a gently … [Read more...]