What to call the amplification of nociceptive signals in the CNS that contribute to widespread pain?

Clifford Woolf, who some may know as the ‘father of central sensitisation’, recently wrote a commentary to PAIN.[1] It piqued our interest because it was about the use of the term ‘central sensitisation’, and we suspect we know people who’d insist that the term ‘central sensitisation’ should only be used to describe changes at the dorsal horn, and … [Read more...]

World Congress on Pain comes to you. 4: Learning Pain pt 2

Have a quick skim of the last blog post: this one follows on, as Part 2 of our synopsis of Professor Johan Vlaeyen’s plenary lecture at the World Congress on Pain... Having explained non-associative learning and Pavlovian conditioning, Prof Vlaeyen moved on to operant conditioning, a behavioural model of learning which Skinner proposed and … [Read more...]

World Congress on Pain comes to you. 3: Learning Pain pt 1

Professor Johan Vlaeyen delivered his plenary lecture at the World Congress on Pain over video. The IASP promised to provide the recording on their website, but some of you had already asked for blog posts on the congress sessions, so I will provide a synopsis of Prof Vlaeyen’s lecture here. His talk was a helpful exploration of the roles that … [Read more...]

But they walked, hopped and jumped on it!

From the days of my infancy as a physiotherapist, I was raised on the teaching that pain should be measured by subjective means only. You have to ask the patient. You cannot presume to judge the magnitude of their experience: you ask them, and they tell you. If they say it’s a 2 out of 10, that’s what it is. If they say it’s an 11 out of 10 (I see … [Read more...]

Dying values? Does pain matter?

Many established values of palliative care practice (like symptom relief, truth-telling, alleviation of suffering) are based on research done outside of Africa, yet African patients may have different values when it comes to death and dying.  A group of South African researchers sought to find out what processes Xhosa people (a 7.9 million-strong … [Read more...]