The right words matter when talking about pain

Michael Vagg, Barwon Health It is no coincidence that we describe the “pain” of loneliness or the “agony” of rejected romantic feelings. Paper cuts can be “excruciatingly painful”, but so can watching the social mishaps of Basil Fawlty or David Brent. Personal criticism can be “stinging”. The book The Patient’s Brain outlines the evidence … [Read more...]

Can individuals with chronic pain do “too much”?

It is well established that activity can both positively and negatively impact on the pain intensity level of individuals with chronic pain. While clinicians advise and encourage their patients to stay active, it is recognised that individuals can severely aggravate their pain by doing “too much”. When activity engagement results in a severe pain … [Read more...]

Mid-back pain after traffic collisions: can your expectations move that mountain?

 “I saw my doctor and he said to me that some people suffer, that whiplash can take up to 18 months. Well, now I can see that he was
 right.” Patient with chronic pain after a traffic collision (Williamson et al., 2015) Recovery expectations have been found to play an important role in the prognosis of neck pain after traffic injuries (Holm et … [Read more...]

Chronic low back pain – are we really measuring the treatment outcome patients want?

Traditionally health care professionals (HCP) assess and treat according to the biomedical model, where the practitioner takes the leading role with diagnosis and intervention. Treatment goals are set by the HCP and are set against standard biomedical measures1.  But are patients are interested in our goals? How many exercise programs set by the … [Read more...]

On the borderline of pain

Pain is one of the most complex sensory experiences. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”, which highlights the fact that pain is a subjective phenomenon with a negative connotation. … [Read more...]

Movement representation techniques: it’s a fuzzy name, but it might just work!

A systematic review and meta-analysis has just come out in The Journal of Pain looking at the efficacy of “movement representation techniques” for people with limb pain. Now, you might ask “what is a movement representation technique”? Well, according to the authors of this review, a movement representation technique can encompass any therapy that … [Read more...]

Is cognitive-behavioural therapy useful for neck pain?

Recently, I had the opportunity to complete a Cochrane systematic review on the effects of cognitive-behavioural therapy on pain, disability, psychological factors, and the quality of life among individuals with subacute and chronic neck pain. This review is the result of a fruitful two year collaboration , between my research team at the … [Read more...]

The benefits in taking a men’s health approach to pain

We know that there are sex and gender differences in the perception and experience of pain, with women generally reporting more painful episodes across their lifespan than men. While reasons for these sex differences focus on vulnerability factors (e.g., sex hormones), there are alternative ways of thinking about them. For example, as well as … [Read more...]

Could your state of mind influence CRPS recovery?

We know that recovery from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is variable: whilst some people make a relatively full recovery in a few months, others are left with pain and symptoms that persist for years [2].  What factors might influence this recovery process?  Current theories argue that in a way, CRPS can be viewed as an overprotective … [Read more...]

Two years on … do we know whether the internet can help to manage chronic pain?

It was just over two years ago when we were kindly invited to write a blog post for BodyInMind, which summarised our initial work trying to develop an internet-delivered pain management program. The eCentreClinic Team and I have been very busy since then. Why try to develop an internet-delivered pain management program? Well, research tells us … [Read more...]