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...]

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...]

We need YOUR friends and family….

We are interested in how the information we receive about our back affects our decision to be active or not. We are doing an experiment on it. We need 400 people to take part but we need them to NOT be readers of Body in Mind!! So, could you please ask your friends, family, neighbours, relations, colleagues to help us out?  We would be very … [Read more...]

Making a definition of pain work for us

With our new proposal, we are not, emphatically NOT, suggesting that we have arrived at the ideal definition of pain. A definition needs to work for clinical and experimental pain, for humans and for other animals, for excruciating and for trivial pain. It needs to distinguish pain from all other sources of distress, from specific anxieties to … [Read more...]

Is alcohol effective as a painkiller?

How many people have sustained an injury (accidental or other) after a few too many drinks, to find that the pain only really kicks in after they have sobered up? Pain experienced the morning after our drunken exploits may lend weight to the established belief that alcohol provides an effective form of pain relief. Historically, alcohol was a … [Read more...]

Macrophages are key players in pain and analgesia

Macrophages are found in all tissues and are critical to injury and repair. Like neurons, macrophages are plastic and acquire different phenotypes based on the external environment. There are two types of macrophages, M1 which secrete inflammatory cytokines, and M2 which secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines. Inflammatory cytokines activate … [Read more...]