How feeling upset might increase pain after a bad night

Emotions, sleep and pain are interlinked; however, we understand little about how these aspects of our wellbeing are connected. Does a poor night’s sleep make us feel grumpy, which in turn makes our pain worse? Or does feeling sad in the first place make people less likely to recover from a poor night’s sleep and wake up with increased bodily pain? … [Read more...]

What about congenital insensitivity to pain?

We had a question recently from Mensah Y Amedzo who asked: Hi Lorimer, with regards to this statement “nociception is neither sufficient nor necessary for pain” how do you explain the fact that people with Congenital Insensitivity to Pain never experience pain even though other sensations are intact and they obviously have a brain. They don’t … [Read more...]

Meet the Winners of the EPIC Scholarship

This is SO EPIC!  We are very excited to announce that 3 winners have been selected to receive financial support to attend the 3rd World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain in Washington DC in October 2017. What is this EPIC Scholarship? The EPIC Scholarship (short for Educational Possibilities in Collaboration) was born at a conference when 2 … [Read more...]

Pain and the sum of parts: nociceptive integration

The nociceptive system has evolved a range of intriguing characteristics. Spatial summation is one such characteristic, whereby increasing the area of a stimulus, or the distance between multiple stimuli, results in more intense pain—not only a greater area of pain. This befits pains’ protective function, because larger/multi-site injuries are … [Read more...]

Importance of intact spatial representation for crossed hands analgesia

In recent years there has been growing interest in how pain and nociception are influenced by visual and proprioceptive inputs. Research has demonstrated that nociceptive inputs, like tactile inputs, are localized using two frames of reference (1). One is somatotopic and it is based on the somatotopic maps in primary somatosensory cortices (S1). … [Read more...]

What app is good for my back?

The rate of smartphone ownership in Australia is among the highest in the world. According to the Deloitte 2015 Consumer Survey, almost 80% of Australians own a smartphone. Online technologies, such as apps, can help us manage our health and they are influencing healthcare in new and exciting ways. There are currently over 259,000 health apps … [Read more...]

The science and philosophy of the meaning of pain

This is the seventh in a series of posts on BiM about chapters in the edited collection, Meanings of Pain (2016, Springer). -- I was delighted to be asked to present a chapter from the recent collection Meanings of Pain. Dr Smadar Bustan's contribution- A Scientific and Philosophical Analysis of Meanings of Pain in Studies of Pain and … [Read more...]

Sympathetic nervous system indeed! … and why some people suffer over your pain

This is the sixth in a series of posts on BiM about chapters in the edited collection, Meanings of Pain (2016, Springer). -- Every day we are bombarded with expressions that borrow from the world of pain. Public spokespersons frequently allude to harmful implications of social, environmental or economic policies and events, such as the … [Read more...]

The lived experience of pain-related fear in people with low back pain

This post is the fifth in a series of posts on BiM about chapters in the edited collection, Meanings of Pain (2016, Springer). -- For many people low back pain (LBP) is scary. The spine is commonly perceived to be the structure linking our limbs to our trunk. It is also perceived to be the structure protecting the body’s ‘neural highway’ — the … [Read more...]

The moral experience of the person with chronic pain

This post is the fourth in a series of posts on BiM about chapters in the edited collection, Meanings of Pain (2016, Springer). -- What does the word ‘moral’ mean to you? These days it is often used to describe a person, or their actions, as being either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. The ancient Greek thinker Aristotle had a different handle on it, … [Read more...]