Lorimer’s public lecture on a cold wet Adelaide evening

The University of South Australia runs these public lectures called the Knowledge Works series. The community here seems to enjoy these lectures and it is, in my view, a terrific thing for the Uni to be doing. What is more, I love the opportunity to get a look at a big room, chock-a-block full with bonafide, card-carrying, members of the public.  For those of you who read this blog regularly, you will know full well that BiM takes the whole dissemination thing pretty seriously – it is, I guess, our whole ‘reason for being’.  Anyway, UniSA has, in the true spirit of open access and dissemination, made the film of my lecture available.  It is about 50 minutes long i think and they have integrated my slides into it.  So, without further ado, help yourself to a squiz.


  1. Rick Kerr says:

    Very interesting talk. My physical therapist told me about this and others. I have had a supinator in my arm (brachioradialus or other) that has been flared up, off and on for almost a year. My pt is quite sure there is no tear, based on examination, but instead something going on with the nervous system and I have been through six sessions of dry needling. After being almost 100% better for almost two weeks, suddenly, I had a relapse, which seems to have put me back to where I started. Is this sort of relapse common?

    By the way, are you familiar with the work of Dr John Sarno, an orthopedist and author of several books on the role of the mind/body in physical symptoms? I have read all his books and completely agree with his theory, but of course it takes a lot more than that to heal.

    Thanks very much,


  2. I’ve started doing all the SM exercices in Neurodynamic Techniques and I feel 90% better! I’ve brought the book to my 2 physio (one for the knee one for the back!) and it’s being highly regarded as being a serious avenue for all their patients who endure chronic pain! Tks to you guys, you are really making me sing! Marcomé

  3. Amazing video, just finished Pain Yarns and will have to read again Explain Pain. I hope I will find resources nearby to work with your methods! Tks for bringing some light in the tunnel of chronic pain..

  4. Candace says:

    Tanya, Thanks for the encouragement. When I was at the Chronic Pain Centre, I used their Rehabilitation Gym up to 4 or 5 times a week using the graded approach to excercise which Lorimer and Butler propose and it really worked. I have to thank Body in Mind for making this lecture available on line, Evert and you Tanya as it kick started me into revisiting what worked so well in the past. This has been a painful reminder that I have to continue to keep up with the movement or it is back downhill I go. Thanks so much for reinforcing that Tanya and thanks to Lorimer or the incredible talk and for all of the great research that has been done!

  5. Adam Bjerre says:

    Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb (my kids are loving this animated series) couldn’t have come up with a more impressive “disseminator”. 🙂 I am in constant awe. Thought about getting you to Scandinavia but then again, her you are on YouTube for my colleagues and me. Great!

  6. I was lucky enough to attend the lecture in person and meet Lorimer afterwards 🙂 but I also appreciate being able to have access to a copy of the talk. It sure was very informative and helped me better understand what is happening. Like Candace I find the knowledge and understanding of what’s happening in my body to be crucial to me managing my pain. How great would it be if we could train our brain’s not to over-react and perceive danger where there isn’t anything significant to worry about.
    Thanks for a great talk!

  7. Lorimer
    Very impressive analogy to compare visual perceptions as a parallell for altered pain processing. I,m aware of the “Recognise” program you have collaborated on but I think there is great potential to introduce this concept of distorted processing “below the conscious radar” with some simple examples in a clinical situation. Are there illusion games that magic folks play with or even better still a clinical tool available?

    Very powerful to dismantle beliefs that sensation, perception, threat detection are reliable and the same thing?

    Thanks for your generosity in sharing this material.


  8. Candace Loken says:

    I have had chronic pain and while I was at the Chronic Pain Centre in Calgary, my pain went down and functionality went up. Your research was an important part of the management of the pain. I am trying to figure out how to train my brain to send the message to my right shoulder, neck and throracic spine that there there really is not danger so calm down guys. Every time I would walk into the “Centre”, my pain would go down. Now I loved your lecture and everything that I have read on this site and your book or your CD’s, I am trying to figure out how do I increase my inhibitory response? I am pretty sure my Sympathetic System has been out muscling my Para-Sympathetic system for about 20 years, well before I injured my shoulder and developed Chronic Pain. Any suggestions, other than calm down guys ( talking to my alarm system)? Best Regards and thanks for all of your research. I just loved this lecture. It made things even clearer for me. C E Loken Calgary

    Evert Jan Das Reply:

    Interesting stuff!

    First of all…I totally agree with the way we should look at (chronic) pain the way David Butler and Lorimer Moseley describe in their book “explain pain”.

    Concerning you’re chronic right shoulder, neck and thoracic spine pain and you’re requist for any suggestions, other than calm down guys ( talking to my alarm system)?

    (keep in mind….of course I don’t know how you’re problem was managed in the past or what kind of management you are currently receiving….but I’ll share some thoughts anyway)

    So pain is an output by the Brain..based on input and processing mechanisms.
    It is these 3 mechanisms we should not forget when setting up a management plan. We should target all 3 mechanisms. Maybe there is some room for (further) improvement when some of you’re input mechanisms are being dealt with (of course when relevant)? Just telling you’re brain that there is no danger, in my clinical experience as a physiotherapist, is seldom enough. You could think of exercises to deal with movement restrictions, sensitive nerves, improve control of maybe scapular motion…etc.

    So, just for clarity…I’m not saying you’re problem still exist because of input mechanisms that should be treated…but It could be a piece of the puzzle. Showing you’re brain that besides their being no damage you are also moving well could have a therapeutic effect.

    good luck!

    Candace Loken Reply:

    Evret, Your comments could not have come at a better time. When I was the most successful at managing my chronic pain, I did ensure I did range of motion, stretching, and scapular muscle training, in addition to self talk and relaxation but not with “a view to showing my brain that I could move well”. I did them to become cured and just get my bio-mechanics back to normal. This little thought is a BIG help for me in being more enthusiastic in keeping up with the excercises. Thank you very much! Thanks also to you Tanya for your comments.

    Tanya Reply:

    Candace, I’m so glad you will re-visit the movement stuff. I have a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome that started in my ankle. I honestly believe all the movement I do has helped me get to where I am today (as in functional and minimal pain). I have also noticed though that I need to keep working on movement. It’s great to improve my balance and strengthen muscles but if once they are strong I don’t keep at it I seem to lose the strength again and the pain start to increase so it is something I need to keep doing.
    Best wishes to you.

    Dr. Eivazi Reply:

    In response to this person, I think that, we have spectrum of symptoms in body. It start from zero pain (ease phase) to the worst one. When our body functionaly in pain, but not in the rest, it tells us that there is some mild problem over there, in one or two or more strucyure in the region or beyond, which turn on with activity. So what I think, we as a therapist, should turn off the pain sound of problemed structures in the region and not to tell to brain DONOT listen to these symtoms (music of the body). I think it is possible this problem with going over the injured structures in the shoulder region easily in may be 2-3 sessions of manual therapy may be.

    alison lingwood Reply:

    I have some new ideas about how to get into that pain and find out the emotional origin if you would like to contact me. Would need to know a few things about your case and would be great to do it over skype ?