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...]

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...]

Suffering from pain is optional: Pain catastrophizing and your brain

Experts agree that the experience of pain is influenced by a large number of biological, social, and psychological factors.  The state of our physical body, the amount and quality of support we get from our family and friends, and our beliefs about pain all work together to influence the intensity and quality of all of our sensations, including … [Read more...]

Surgical or non-surgical management for sciatica – what you need to know

Whilst low back pain (LBP) is the number one cause of disability worldwide, a small number of patients will suffer associated leg pain, generally due to a herniated intervertebral lumbar disc - commonly known as ’sciatica’. Responsible for less than five percent of all low-back presentations, lower limb pins and needles, tingling, numbness or … [Read more...]

#itdoesnthavetohurt: Using social media to get research evidence about children’s pain to parents

All children have pain and parents are generally unaware of how they can help. Despite decades of research aimed at better understanding and improving pain assessment and management in children [i], many children still do not receive the pain care they deserve.  Poorly managed pain in children is a serious and ongoing health problem, resulting in … [Read more...]

The Pain Illusion

First published in The Enterprise Magazine, UniSA One in five Australian adults suffers from chronic pain. But what exactly is happening in our brain when we experience pain? We talk to UniSA’s Body in Mind research group to find out. People are usually speaking in derogatory terms when they suggest your aches and pains are “all in your mind”, … [Read more...]

GP management of back pain – challenges and opportunities

Low back pain is a very common reason to visit the doctor but previous studies have indicated that GP management of back pain is often inconsistent with evidence-based guidelines. We wanted to explore the beliefs of New Zealand GPs about back pain and how these influenced their management of patients with back pain. We found that GPs who … [Read more...]

Rethinking pain’s under-treatment in the ED – Part 2

In the previous blog post, I described how I came to lead the writing of an article about pain being under-treated in the emergency department (ED) [3].  The article presents an argument for the plausibility of two new hypotheses for why pain is still under-treated in the ED, despite efforts to improve things.  We invite the reader to consider … [Read more...]

Rethinking pain’s under-treatment in the ED – Part 1

When I came off my bicycle and my arm moved in ways it shouldn’t have, I was admitted to an emergency department (ED).  My arm hurt – a lot – and I wondered why efforts to reduce the pain weren’t entirely effective.  ‘We can land a man on the moon, but not stop a broken arm hurting?!’  It didn’t compute.  One of my thoughts was this: ‘Perhaps … [Read more...]