The Opioid Bank. It seems we are facing another global crisis!

Opioids. We all know what they are and that there are a lot of them going around, but it wasn’t until I was asked to write this blog on the information overloading review by Manchikanti and friends (2010) that I realised quite the extent. And to tell you the truth, it’s painfully scary! In a nutshell, well over half of the review pumped out … [Read more...]

What can a patient’s pain tell us about contributing mechanisms?

Ever put down a copy of Explain Pain, or some other highly valuable text, and asked 'So how do I integrate all this stuff when I assess a patient and plan treatment?' You might have felt exasperated after reading yet another article on pain mechanisms, or central sensitisation, or cortical reorganisation, and said to yourself 'yes but how do I know … [Read more...]

Extinction is the Path to the Light Side of the Force

A Learning Theory Perspective on Pain-related Fear in Chronic Pain Every saga has a sequel – well in the previous blog post on learning and pain-related fear in chronic pain, I explained how pain-related fear can be acquired through associative learning, that is, the systematic pairing of a neutral movement (conditioned stimulus = CS) with a … [Read more...]

Fear is the Path to the Dark Side

A Learning Theory Perspective on Pain-related Fear in Chronic Pain There is no doubt that there is heaps of wisdom in the Star Wars saga. For example, Master Yoda said once: “Fear is the path to the dark side”. When it comes to chronic pain, and in particular how acute pain might turn into chronic pain, Yoda’s quote is spot on! Fear-avoidance … [Read more...]

Fluid Ink

Genesis: To cut a very long story short, Smudj was born from a very dark period in my life. So dark that not a pin prick of light could be seen. I was on the knife edge of suicidal, wanting to be sliced into oblivion. Close to a year before Smudj smeared its way on my page, my body had developed an autoimmune syndrome called Fibromyalgia. It … [Read more...]

Windows into pain. Part II

It has been about a month since I wrote a post reflecting on this pain I have in my shoulder. I must say I was overwhelmed by the many offers of diagnostic and treatment advice - it left me both chuffed and a little apprehensive about revisiting it. To start, let me say that my shoulder is less painful than it was. I have been a very good … [Read more...]

Windows into pain

I have a painful shoulder. It has been hurting since mid-December. I can recall no incident - just woke up one morning with severe pain on pretty much any movement. Now, I am not looking for diagnoses, nor in fact sympathy. What I would like to do instead is to run you through some interesting reflections I have had. i) I wake up in the night a … [Read more...]

Pain is sexist. Sex Hormones and Anxiety Modulate Brain Responses to Painful Stimuli

Serge Marchand, Ph.D. and Isabelle Gaumond, Ph.D. Women and men are different in many ways; some of these differences are obvious and some not so intuitive.  For example, pain is sexist.  The burning question is who between men and woman is more tolerant to pain?  For most people, it seems clear that women are more tolerant or at least they … [Read more...]

Is chronic pain a disease in its own right?

I recently received an email from Vanessa Milne who is doing Post Graduate Studies in Pain Science at University of Sydney with the who’s who of Australian pain stuff - Nicholas, Cousins, Siddall, Keast.... an impressive line up that.   Anyway, Professor Michael Cousins is leading the way in an impressive and ambitious attempt to put pain on the … [Read more...]

Check this out!

[Read more...]