Oldies but Goodies – Isometrics reduce tendon pain

Over this holiday season we are posting the most popular articles from the last five years.  The fourth most read in our archive is on isometric tendon pain by Ebonie Rio. Isometrics reduce tendon pain Anyone with tendon pain will tell you, it’s a pain in the butt (hamstring tendon pain that is). If it’s your Achilles tendon, the mornings are a … [Read more...]

Vitamin C and Back Pain, Really?

Pain is not a big killer like cancer or infectious diseases. However, back pain tops the scales of disease burden: when comorbidity is considered with disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)*– then back pain wins in almost every country (see http://www.healthdata.org/gbd). Other musculoskeletal problems, including arthritis, also count among the … [Read more...]

The dynamic effect of pain on attention

Pain tends to grab our attention, making it difficult to concentrate on other tasks. This is generally a useful feature of pain – if we burn ourselves while cooking, it’s good that our attention switches away from the food and towards the pain so that we can adequately protect ourselves. However, if the pain doesn’t signal threat (e.g. a tension … [Read more...]

Do depressed people experience more physical pain – or less?

Recent global burden of disease surveys tell us that pain and depression are two of the most common and pervasive issues in modern society. The fact that these two are also highly comorbid hardly generates surprise. Living with chronic pain often means restricted mobility, reduced capacity to work and general impairment of quality of life, in … [Read more...]

Quantitative Sensory Testing in Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Introduction Our recent review, published in “Pain Medicine”, highlighted the measurement properties of quantitative sensory testing (QST) and its clinical utility. QST results have been shown to be related to pain or neural sensitivity. QST has been put forward as a potentially useful tool for monitoring disease prognosis and evaluating … [Read more...]

“Encontros Saúde & Dor” Bringing Pain Education to Low-Income Communities in Brazil

Approximately 11.25 million Brazilians live in low-income communities or “favelas.” In my home town of Jundiaí, near São Paulo, there are no less than 14 of these low-income communities, the largest of which houses approximately 15 000 families. Some low-income communities, such as Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, are home to up to 180 000 people. At … [Read more...]

The false promises of shared decision making in rehabilitation

In the recent years, Shared Decision Making (SDM) has been increasingly advocated as an ideal model of treatment decision-making during the medical encounter, as it has been shown to increase benefits for both clinicians and the health-care system (1).  But does SDM result in better outcomes for patients with painful musculoskeletal conditions?  In … [Read more...]

Could Virtual Reality Dodgeball motivate fear-avoidant CLBP patients to move? Implications for future treatment.

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions health care professionals encounter. Unfortunately, despite ever increasing costs in regards to clinical management, the results remain underwhelming[1,2] giving CLBP an enigmatic nature. As a masters student I am interested in understanding how the neuromodulatory … [Read more...]

The phantoms in our dreams

Ask yourself for details in your latest dreams and you will recognize how hard it is to recall your own dream content in a precise and valid manner. In William Shakespeare’s world-renowned tragedy ‘Hamlet’, the protagonist says ‘a dream itself is but a shadow’, emphasizing the transience of this cognitive phenomenon. As such, dreams hardly lend … [Read more...]

Expressing pain: which patients do we trust?

Trustworthiness is one of those instant judgements we automatically make about other people, affecting our behaviour towards them [1]. We wanted to know whether clinicians’ judgements of patients’ trustworthiness affected their estimation of patients’ pain [2]. There seem to be so many grounds on which the complaint and expression of pain is met … [Read more...]