A big belly isn’t necessarily a pain in the back

Over 80% of Australians experience back pain at some point in their lives, which is one of the most common reasons people miss work and seek health care. Despite the efforts of the scientific community to identify risks factors for back pain, the cause of this condition is still poorly understood. Knowing what causes low back pain might help us … [Read more...]

If only surgery wasn’t such a pain in the…. knee!!

Liz, a 65 year old retired nurse, was diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis (OA) several years ago. Her GP subsequently prescribed a range of non-surgical and pharmaceutical interventions to treat her knee pain with limited success. Recently, she was referred to an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate the need for a total knee replacement (TKR). While TKR … [Read more...]

The effectiveness of drugs for neuropathic pain – what do we know?

Neuropathic pain (NP) - that is pain arising from identifiable damage or disease affecting the somatosensory nervous system is common and frequently severe and life-changing. It is also notoriously difficult to treat effectively. Indeed we know that for many people with NP treatment is inadequate. The International Association for the Study of Pain … [Read more...]

Treating more than just the back in chronic low back pain

'Physiotherapists may stigmatise or feel unprepared to treat people with low back pain and psychosocial factors that influence recovery: a systematic review' (Synnott et al, 2015) There is considerable evidence that when people have chronic low back pain (LBP), several factors can be involved in delaying their recovery and/or their ability to … [Read more...]

EP 15 years in: historical and theoretical underpinnings

This is my second post based on a perspectives piece David Butler and I wrote for the Journal of Pain. You can get the gist of it by just reading the bolded sentences. It is some time now since John Loeser adapted Engel’s biopsychosocial model to fit it to the lived experience of chronic pain. From my perspective as someone who had experience on … [Read more...]

Isometrics reduce tendon pain

Anyone with tendon pain will tell you, it’s a pain in the butt (hamstring tendon pain that is). If it’s your Achilles tendon, the mornings are a struggle and you may have stopped walking, running or playing with your kids. For the athlete, pain relating to the Achilles, Patellar, Hamstring or Adductor tendons can strip away power and spring needed … [Read more...]

15 years of Explaining Pain – where have we been and where are we going?

Neuroscience was clearly my favourite course at uni – I loved it so much I was learning for fun, not for exams. I don’t recall ever studying for a neuroscience exam – it all seemed to magically stick in there – as if there were tailored docking stations in my brain just waiting for their particular neuroscience nugget to lock in. I found it … [Read more...]

How does sensory and sympathetic nerve sprouting contribute to a chronic pain state in a nonhealed fracture?

Our lab continues to be intrigued by the mechanisms that generate and drive skeletal pain. Painful skeletal conditions are highly prevalent and their impact is pervasive in both developing and developed countries (Lubeck, 2003;Woolf & Pfleger, 2003; Brooks, 2006; Kidd, 2006). The skeletal system is essential for structural support, movement, … [Read more...]

Leprosy and Pain: an Old Disease with a New Challenge

Perhaps you have already heard about leprosy in the past. Despite major efforts to eradicate leprosy, this infection still affects 250,000 new individuals per year [1]. The mode of transmission of leprosy is probably person to person through nasal secretions from untreated patients. The disease is well known because of the biblical stories and it … [Read more...]

Core outcome domains for non-specific low back pain

In 1997, during the second International Forum on Primary Care Research for Low Back Pain (LBP) held in The Hague (Netherlands), a group of experienced clinical researchers gathered together and decided to formulate a standardised set of outcomes to be recommended to colleagues for use in LBP clinical research. These recommendations included five … [Read more...]