Implementation science and its use in low back pain research

The implementation of evidence into practice, even today, where science plays a role in much of our lives, is an elusive task. This challenge in health care is perhaps most vividly demonstrated in the back pain field, where numerous studies show that evidence-practice gaps haven’t improved over the last two decades or more.  Implementation science … [Read more...]

Pain catastrophising: How can we best deal with it?

Jack: “Ouch, my head hurts!” Jill: “Don’t freak out, Jack.” Jack: “Why not? It hurts!” Jill: “Yeah but freaking out will only make it worse.” Jack: “How do you know? It might make it better.” Jill: “I’ve read the science, Jack. I know. Just take a few breaths. Come on, let’s walk over to that tap and fill up your bucket.” Jack: … [Read more...]

Treating the Emotional Problems Underling Centralized Pain

Chronic pain and emotions are closely tied. Not only is chronic pain linked to changes in depression, anxiety, and anger, but emotions also impact pain [1]. Some types of pain appear to be particularly influenced by emotional processes. Fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic pain, temporomandibular joint pain, headaches, and many cases of a … [Read more...]

Text neck is not a pain in the neck

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the use of mobile phones, especially among young people. Over the same period, there has been a growing prevalence of neck pain [1, 2–4]. There is evidence that, compared to neutral standing, subjects viewing a mobile phone screen display a more forward head posture [5, 6]. Furthermore, a forward … [Read more...]

To express or not to express pain? That’s the question

A child falling on the street might seem perfectly fine yet burst into tears upon being noticed by its parents. If your (male) partner has the flu, you will no doubt detect his overt expressions of suffering. As humans, we likely express our pain when we seek understanding or help from others. In extreme cases this might save our lives, so it is … [Read more...]

The causes and mechanisms of back pain

For some time, patients, clinicians and researchers have tried to understand the causes of back pain. Theories are abundant, and some have been empirically tested. But to date, the only thing clear is that we’re still unsure about what causes back pain. This uncertainty about the causes and mechanisms of back pain stifles the development of … [Read more...]

LBP in children and adolescents

Is back pain a problem for kids? One of the things that some universities do to help out new researchers is have senior academics look over their grant applications before they are submitted. Recently we had a proposal for a study on back pain in adolescents assessed in this way. One of the comments was that back pain is not a problem for … [Read more...]

Core outcome measures for low back pain

The use of different outcomes across clinical trials on the same health condition may hamper comparability of findings and conduction of meta-analysis. This problem can be dealt with the development of a core set of outcome domains and measures. A core outcome domain is an aspect of health that should be measured and reported in every single trial … [Read more...]

Self-management and behaviour change in persistent LBP: Where is the science currently at?

Background Typically, self-management behaviour change interventions for persistent low back pain (LBP) help the patient to learn and adopt a set of health behaviours that they can use to reduce or manage their symptoms. Although this may seem like a core part of treatment, the effectiveness of self-management interventions for persistent LBP to … [Read more...]

Low back pain: A ride through the guidelines.

Our paper[1] in the latest special edition of Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology on back pain aimed to compare, contrast and discuss 3 recent international guidelines for the management of low back pain. The clinical marketplace for low back pain treatments is flourishing. Lots of different professions have carved out their … [Read more...]