Search Results for: O'Connell

Pain after cancer: A new model for pain psychology?

What if every headache, every slight twinge in your back, was potentially life threatening? What if you couldn’t tell a brain tumour from coffee-withdrawal? These can be constant, niggling worries for many people who have survived cancer, and we think their experiences can tell us something important about pain. If you have read a Body in Mind … [Read more...]

Clinical prediction rules: Use the babies and throw the bathwater?

There are easily a thousand clinical prediction rules (CPRs) related to managing musculoskeletal pain. Okay, maybe a thousand is an exaggeration. My point is there are many. All designed with the aim of helping clinicians to make more certain decisions about diagnosis (diagnostic CPRs), prognosis (prognostic CPRs) or likely response to an … [Read more...]

Wired for touch: the neurons and circuits of the somatosensory system

Our tactile world is infinitely rich: a cold breeze, a sharp poke, raindrops, or a mother’s gentle caress all impose mechanical forces on our skin, and yet we encounter no difficulty in telling them apart and can react differently to each. How do we recognize and interpret the myriad of tactile stimuli to perceive our physical world? Aristotle … [Read more...]

Cartographers need not apply: Skin-based maps are self-organising

Many of us will have heard of the visual blind spot, scotomas (an area of partial or complete loss of visual acuity in an otherwise clear field of vision) and phantom limb sensations, but what do these have in common? They show us that despite a void in our perceptual field, we can maintain a somewhat stable perception. Compensation for the missing … [Read more...]

Can fear of movement lead to physical inactivity in low back pain?

It’s well known for most health professionals who regularly treat patients with back pain that often patients are afraid of moving because they believe that movement will cause further pain and injury. This fear of movement, and belief that physical activities will cause (re)injury, is the central concept of the well-known Fear-Avoidance Model. … [Read more...]

Pain, Disparities, and the Perils of the Endless Loop

“I can’t stop thinking about how much it hurts!” “I’m scared the pain will get worse!” “There’s nothing I can do to make it better!” These and related expressions may ring familiar to pain sufferers – their friends, family, and clinicians too. They are 3 of the many examples of catastrophic reactions that often occur around pain. More … [Read more...]

Tactile acuity in acute pain: do we not see the wood for the trees?

It is well known that chronic pain is associated with changes in the brain: Several lines of research confirm alterations in the central nervous system in chronic pain syndromes including phantom limb pain, complex regional pain syndrome, patients with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and - the most prevalent syndrome - chronic non-specific low back … [Read more...]

A new method of assessing women with pelvic pain

Are you female? Do you know any females? Chances are, the majority of you are thinking ‘yes’. And chances are, the majority of those females you know have experienced pelvic pain. Almost every woman will experience pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhoea) at some point during her life[1] – and usually it seems like some kind of uterus-driven … [Read more...]

“I need to do another course” – Physiotherapists’ views on assessing psychosocial factors in chronic low back pain

Psychosocial factors (PS) are described as the combination of an individual’s cognitive, emotional and social status that can influence their health status (Singla et al., 2015) and they include: patients’ beliefs that pain and activity are harmful, fear avoidance beliefs, negative behaviours, lack of support, overprotective families, physical … [Read more...]

Is “how much?” the right question to ask about exercise for pain?

  Exercise is widely accepted to be beneficial for health and is increasingly prescribed as treatment for many diseases and other chronic health conditions. Many studies in both humans and rodents have investigated the effectiveness of exercise as a treatment for chronic pain. Although the efficacy of exercise in rodent models of persistent … [Read more...]