Paracetamol for acute low back pain – a cheap fix or a waste of health resources?

Many of us have the humble paracetamol pill in the cupboard at home, and reach for it when we experience pain. But recent research shows that paracetamol does not provide more pain relief than a placebo pill in low back pain and osteoarthritis [1]. A more detailed way of explaining this is that paracetamol does not provide extra pain relief for … [Read more...]

Persistent low back pain: Can screening predict risk?

Almost everyone will experience low back pain (LBP).  Most of us also know someone who has persistent LBP – pain that comes and goes, or never goes; that limits work, or life or enjoyment.  When our own back hurts we worry (a little or a lot) that we might end up like them. The majority of adults who suffer a new episode of LBP recover within a … [Read more...]

We need YOUR friends and family….

We are interested in how the information we receive about our back affects our decision to be active or not. We are doing an experiment on it. We need 400 people to take part but we need them to NOT be readers of Body in Mind!! So, could you please ask your friends, family, neighbours, relations, colleagues to help us out?  We would be very … [Read more...]

Can Quantitative Sensory Testing responses predict the course of low back pain?

We know low back pain (LBP) is a condition with a variable prognosis. A good proportion of people recover quite quickly from an episode of LBP, but some will have fluctuating symptoms or develop chronic LBP [2]. Currently, there is no consensus as to which factors are more important to predict this trajectory [3]. Psychosocial (e.g. distress) and … [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...]

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...]

We should be worried about gravity?!?!

We all know how common back pain is and how back pain comprises a significant proportion of the 1 in 4 people with persistent pain. There is clearly an established link between the meaning of one’s pain and the fear it evokes, right?  Someone’s perception of what it happening in their back relates to their pain, right?  Castrophisation scales and … [Read more...]

Are cell-based therapies effective for low back pain?

In recent times, there has been a surge of interest in the use of cell-based therapies for the treatment of a range of musculoskeletal conditions, with many high profile sportspeople availing of these therapies (e.g here and here). Cell-based therapies can involve the use of chrondrocyte or mesenchymal stem cells. These are typically extracted from … [Read more...]

Get involved! Translating evidence into practice: Cognitive behavioural techniques for back pain

Translating research into clinical practice is a challenge for researchers in all fields. I work in the UK and funding bodies here appear to be keenly aware of this, and are increasingly providing opportunities to engage with this challenge through dissemination activities and improved research-clinician engagement, for example. Our group at the … [Read more...]

Giving patients the whole truth

I am guilty of being the eternal optimist in my practice. I can’t recall ever telling a patient that the outlook isn’t great for them, even though on many occasions, I had that sinking feeling in my gut. Many patients in pain are distressed enough – they don’t need me to give them more to worry about, do they? Maybe I’m not the only clinician who … [Read more...]