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

Daniele_Romano

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...]

A tool for communicating body perception disturbances

Ailie Turton

Some people with persistent pain have altered perceptions of parts of their body. For example they can perceive their affected limbs as having some distortions of size, perhaps with enlarged hands or very thin forearms. They can also feel that the limb is in a different position to its actual location and that areas of body or limb segments are … [Read more...]

Can Pain Neuroscience Education Improve Endogenous Pain Inhibition?

Many chronic musculoskeletal pain disorders are characterized by the presence of central sensitization, which implies that the central nervous system is in a hypersensitive state in those who suffer from these disorders. Sensitivity to pain results from the outcome of the battle between pathways which facilitate the passage of nociceptive … [Read more...]

We all know that falling over hurts, but can pain come before a fall?

Brendon Stubbs

We have all fallen over, haven’t we? Well you know that it hurts, and you can imagine this is also the case for those of an older age with an increased risk for falls. But how about vice versa? Is pain itself a risk factor for falls in this older group?  This is important as preventing falls is a serious public health issue since fall related … [Read more...]

Subgrouping patients with chronic whiplash on the basis of symptoms of sensory hypersensitivity and PTSD

Ash Pedler

A significant proportion of people (up to 50%) who develop neck pain following a car accident continue to report neck pain at long term follow up. It's not clear why these patients don't recover and unfortunately current evidence seems to indicate that usual rehabilitative management is not very effective for patients with chronic whiplash. The … [Read more...]

Motor dysfunction in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is related to proprioceptive deficits

Imagine that you want to grab a cup of coffee. Successful planning and execution of this and many other everyday life tasks crucially depends on a good sense of the position and movements of your body parts (= proprioception). Such tasks would be very difficult to perform if you have no (or perhaps the wrong) idea of where your hand is, or what it … [Read more...]

Should we train deep trunk muscles to improve the clinical outcomes of low back pain?

Transversus abdominis (TrA) and lumbar multifidus (LM) are two deep trunk muscles implicated in maintaining spinal stability at rest and during physiological movements. A number of research studies have found that people with acute, chronic or recurrent low back pain (LBP) show abnormal changes in the physical characteristics (e.g. shape, … [Read more...]

Low back pain: does shoe type make a difference?

Sian MacRae

Low back pain effects up to 80% of the population at some point in their life time. Although national and international guidelines recommend exercise therapy as a best practice in the management of chronic low back pain (pain that has been present for 3 months or greater) the long term benefits of exercises to people with low back pain are minimal. … [Read more...]

Stability of conditioned pain modulation in patients with chronic pain: Implications for pain assessment & treatment

Marc O Martel

Over the past few decades, considerable evidence has accumulated indicating that pain may be modulated by a variety of endogenous pain-inhibitory processes. These operate at various levels of the central nervous system (CNS), and play a role in shaping the subjective experience of pain. Importantly, several lines of research suggest that … [Read more...]