On painful choices

Martien Schrooten1

People living with pain often find themselves in situations in which they have to choose between protecting themselves from pain and pursuing other plans or goals. For example, should I stay at home and rest to avoid worsening my pain or should I go to the office and impress my boss to get the promotion? Should I go to bed early so that I feel … [Read more...]

World Congress on Pain comes to you. 6: Physical Activity and Chronic Pain

Sandy Hilton Physiotherapist

Physical Activity and Chronic Pain: From Cells to Systems and Beyond This workshop concentrated on the role of physical activity and exercise in the prevention and treatment of chronic pain, presented by Dr Sluka, Dr Bement and Dr Rovner. The audience was taken on a journey from basic science studies and predictive behavioral factors to … [Read more...]

World Congress on Pain comes to you. 4: Learning Pain pt 2

Have a quick skim of the last blog post: this one follows on, as Part 2 of our synopsis of Professor Johan Vlaeyen’s plenary lecture at the World Congress on Pain... Having explained non-associative learning and Pavlovian conditioning, Prof Vlaeyen moved on to operant conditioning, a behavioural model of learning which Skinner proposed and … [Read more...]

World Congress on Pain comes to you. 2: Yoga, Mice, Pain and your Brain

Sarah Haag Yoga

The official title of the John J. Bonica Distinguished Lecture at the World Congress on Pain was actually ‘Effect of Environment on the Long-Term Consequences of Chronic Pain'. Prof Catherine Bushnell started her talk by noting comorbidities that any practicing clinician will have noticed at some point if treating people who are dealing with any … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]