Can individuals with chronic pain do “too much”?

It is well established that activity can both positively and negatively impact on the pain intensity level of individuals with chronic pain. While clinicians advise and encourage their patients to stay active, it is recognised that individuals can severely aggravate their pain by doing “too much”. When activity engagement results in a severe pain … [Read more...]

Mid-back pain after traffic collisions: can your expectations move that mountain?

 “I saw my doctor and he said to me that some people suffer, that whiplash can take up to 18 months. Well, now I can see that he was
 right.” Patient with chronic pain after a traffic collision (Williamson et al., 2015) Recovery expectations have been found to play an important role in the prognosis of neck pain after traffic injuries (Holm et … [Read more...]

Chronic low back pain – are we really measuring the treatment outcome patients want?

Traditionally health care professionals (HCP) assess and treat according to the biomedical model, where the practitioner takes the leading role with diagnosis and intervention. Treatment goals are set by the HCP and are set against standard biomedical measures1.  But are patients are interested in our goals? How many exercise programs set by the … [Read more...]

On the borderline of pain

Pain is one of the most complex sensory experiences. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”, which highlights the fact that pain is a subjective phenomenon with a negative connotation. … [Read more...]

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...]