Diagnostic uncertainty and pain-related guilt: new treatment targets for low back pain?

Low back pain (LBP) is a highly prevalent condition, with a devastating impact on society and it is now recognized as the leading cause of disability worldwide (Lim et al., 2012). Research suggests that several psychological factors play an important role in LBP, and among the most robust factors are depression, catastrophic cognitions, fear of … [Read more...]

Low Back Pain Treatment in Primary Care

In general, most acute low back pain (LBP) recovers spontaneously within a few days or weeks. No active treatment has shown to actually shorten the time it takes for acute back pain to recover. The purpose of medication, manipulation, acupuncture, physiotherapy etc. is at best to ease the pain while one is waiting for nature to heal. And one should … [Read more...]

The enduring bond between chronic back pain and sleep disturbance: not a love story

Intuitively, one expects that pain, whether acute or chronic, will affect sleep quality. However, the relationship between pain and sleep is not fully understood. Pain has been widely reported to be associated with various measures indicative of sleep disturbance including reduced sleep efficacy, reduced total sleep time, delayed sleep onset, … [Read more...]

Common psychologies in back pain?

Numerous psychological factors are associated with chronic low back pain (CLBP) and disability. Clinically, it would appear that the psychological profiles of individuals with CLBP can be dominated by different psychological factors. For example, some people are significantly depressed while others might exhibit strong fear-avoidance beliefs. In … [Read more...]

Cognitive Functional Therapy for chronic low back pain: The patients’ perspective

Pain and lack of function are the two main factors that motivate people with non-specific chronic low back pain (CLBP) to seek care [1]. When you ask a person with CLBP what treatments they have tried, the answer is often in the form of a shopping list: manual therapy, stabilising exercises, Pilates, yoga, medication, injections… and so might the … [Read more...]

The Strange Case of Interoception and Resilience or How to Become a Superhero

Steel is a very resilient material: it has the capacity to absorb the energy produced by a hit without breaking. Translating this original definition of resilience into the Psychology field, a person is resilient when they can cope well with stressful situations. No wonder Superman is called “man of steel”! Back to more scienc-y stuff, recently … [Read more...]

How does parents’ chronic pain affect their children?

Parenting is a tough job. It’s hard enough when things are going well - imagine trying to parent while experiencing chronic pain. One mother with chronic pain, Sarah Erdreich, described her experiences with parenting her two-year-old daughter in a recent Slate article [1]. She described her worries about how her pain might affect her daughter, and … [Read more...]

Could telling right from left be a way forward in low back pain

Lately more and more research has indicated changes in cortical processing and disruptions of bodily representations in patients with low back pain (LBP). Among these findings, which have also been noted with other painful conditions, is impaired performance in laterality judgments [1,2]. While the exact relationship between LBP and laterality … [Read more...]

Body size of an embodied avatar modulates physiological response to pain

Nociceptive stimuli are processed through specific sensory pathways. Nonetheless, pain perception is highly subjective, and the amount of pain we feel depends on many things, including whether or not we are able to see the relevant body part. Indeed, looking at one’s own body reduces responses to pain, an effect known by the name “visual … [Read more...]

What’s best for chronic spinal back pain? Physical, behavioural/psychologically or combined interventions?

Non-specific chronic spinal pain (NSCSP), particularly low back pain (LBP) and neck pain (NP), results in significant personal, social and economic burden(here and here).[1,2] Our research group has recently published a systematic review and meta-analysis[3] in the Journal of Pain comparing the effectiveness of conservative interventions for … [Read more...]