With The Touch of One’s Own Hand

If you knock your hand arm on something sharp, what is the first thing you do? I bet most of you say 'rub it better'.  We take that automatic response for granted but some very clever people in London, which is in England, have taken a very elegant (LJ take note of the use of that word here!) approach to investigating it. Marjolein Kammers from … [Read more...]

Nociceptive, peripheral neuropathic, central sensitivity – is it all Greek to us?

For those of you who have done one, you will know that finishing your PhD can be a bit like sailing in front of Wild Oats in the Sydney to Hobart - the flapping spinnaker, full of midnight oil and editorial mutterings, left limp as a soggy biscuit. For those of you who have not done a PhD, you might not get it. Well, here at BiM we are keen to keep … [Read more...]

Teaching people about pain – a kind of position paper

Some time ago, I wrote this paper, at the request of the journal Physical Therapy Reviews, on reconceptualising pain. It is a little old now but it has come to be a bit of a position paper. The position has four fundamentals, none of which will be very surprising to anyone I imagine: (i) pain does not provide a measure of the state of the … [Read more...]

Expecting back pain – the possibility of a self-fulfilling prophecy

It seems like years ago now, well, it is years ago now, that I did this study with The Walking Cortex (TWC, Paul Hodges).  This was one of my PhD studies. I think it is quite a groovy study.  We gave supposedly normal healthy volunteers painful electric shocks, through electrodes placed over the back of their pelvis.  We showed that when they are … [Read more...]

It hurts to be blue

Here is another case-study highlighting the immense complexity of the brain, pain, and above all what it means to be what we are. In short, a 36-year-old French woman sustained a stroke that caused her to experience neuropathic pain and decreased sensation. Neither of these is unusual following damage to certain parts of the brain. More remarkable, … [Read more...]

Of mice and men – Jeff Mogil on grimacing

You have almost certainly noticed that we grimace when we are in pain. But have you thought about that - I mean really thought about it? Why grimace?  Well, someone who clearly thinks about such things more than most is a fellow called Jeff Mogil - Professor of Pain Type Stuff at the very pain-posh McGill University in Montreal (pain-posh means … [Read more...]