But they walked, hopped and jumped on it!

From the days of my infancy as a physiotherapist, I was raised on the teaching that pain should be measured by subjective means only. You have to ask the patient. You cannot presume to judge the magnitude of their experience: you ask them, and they tell you. If they say it’s a 2 out of 10, that’s what it is. If they say it’s an 11 out of 10 (I see … [Read more...]

Weather Does Not Affect Back Pain

Everyone has a story about their back pain and one story you often hear is that the weather makes the person’s back pain worse. Topical now in Sydney as it is quite cold. We had an open mind on the issue because we had heard the story so many times but we also know that as a research question it was wide open as no-one had rigorously evaluated this … [Read more...]

A Sore Spot: Central or peripheral generation of chronic neuropathic pain?

Raja lab

A key question, of significant therapeutic consequence, regarding the neural mechanisms of chronic neuropathic pain is whether it is maintained by input from the periphery or by independent, central (spinal or supraspinal) generators.  In a recent issue of PAIN, two research groups reported their observations that suggest that input from primary … [Read more...]

Dr Andrew Moore on Evidence and Pain

The second of three keynote speaker interviews by Australian Pain Society at their annual conference: Dr Andrew Moore on evidence and pain and the effectiveness of certain types of drugs. Dr Andrew Moore is Director of Pain Research, Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, University of Oxford, and Chairman of the International Association for the … [Read more...]

Jeff Mogil on the nature and nurture of pain

The Australian Pain Society recently held their annual conference (and what a conference it was) and interviewed their keynote speakers.  This is the first of three - Prof Jeff Mogil on the nature and nurture of pain. Professor Jeffrey Mogil is currently the E.P. Taylor Professor of Pain Studies and the Canada Research Chair in the Genetics of … [Read more...]

Changing beliefs in the face of adversity: preoperative pain education tested

Here at BiM it’s no secret that we are very interested in pain education – so called Explaining Pain or EP. Using examples from current thinking in pain science, EP posits that the more one knows about their pain, and the less threatening one perceives their circumstances to be, the better the (actual) pain should be [1-3].  There is now strong … [Read more...]

A lack of variability in people with pain? I’m intrigued…

A recent paper by Falla and colleagues [1] evaluated back muscle activity (via electromyography) during a repetitive lifting task and compared two groups: a chronic/recurrent low back pain group and a healthy control group. What is unique about this study is that they evaluated back muscle activity using a grid of electrodes to characterise the … [Read more...]

Working where it really matters: Botulinum toxin A targets pain hypersensitivity in the CNS

Ivica Matak

Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A), an enzyme produced by Clostridium botulinum, owes its potency to its exquisite ability to invade neurons and to block the vesicular release of neurotransmitters. By cleaving a peptide bond on a synaptic protein called synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25), BoNT/A prevents the synaptic vesicles from fusing … [Read more...]

Is one question enough to screen for depression and anxiety

Silje Reme

Psychological factors, such as depression and anxiety, are significant contributors in the transition from acute to chronic pain. A person suffering from acute low back pain with additional symptoms of anxiety and/or depression has a higher risk of becoming a chronic pain patient than a person without these additional symptoms. Furthermore, … [Read more...]

Can low back pain be influenced by pain in the front of the body?

John Panagopoulos

As a physio who works in a busy clinic and treats lots of different people, one of the phenomena that I’ve observed over the years is how many patients, who present with back or neck pain, and also mention they have lots of gut / reproductive problems. These gut problems are generally mild symptoms like feeling bloated and constipated. Even when … [Read more...]