Pain after cancer. Let’s take it on.

Here’s an observation of two very different research fields: cancer and pain science education. Take cancer - truly gobsmacking investment in research and treatment globally has seen remarkable improvements in outcomes. Based on UK data, survival rates have doubled since 1970 and for some common cancers, they have quadrupled or more. Now take pain … [Read more...]

I can avoid pain, therefore I must be afraid!

Why is it that some people develop chronic pain after recovering from an injury, while others don’t? Suppose you are one of the many people who had an injury. Let us further assume that you were the one in five who develops chronic pain after injury. You might misinterpret the pain (e.g., you thought that the pain you were feeling was an indication … [Read more...]

Injustice Perception in Chronic Pain: Shaped Through Expectation and Experience

A tendency to perceive pain as an irreparable or unjust experience may vary widely between people and across situations. Sullivan and colleagues have termed this pattern of thinking “injustice perception”, and have proposed that it is comprised of two, related ways of viewing pain: perceiving inequity or unfairness inherent within the experience of … [Read more...]

Physiotherapists struggle to identify and deal with psychological factors in chronic low back pain

Psychological factors including catastrophizing, fear of movement and psychological distress are predictors of negative outcomes in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP).[1] Furthermore, patients with CLBP often have comorbid depressive and anxiety disorders.[2] Healthcare professionals involved in managing CLBP are therefore challenged to … [Read more...]

What about the clinimetric properties of sensorimotor measurement instruments?

That chronic low back pain (CLBP) is associated with functional and structural changes in the central nervous system is difficult to dispute and subject to wide-ranging ongoing research (Moseley and Flor, 2012, Omori et al., 2013, Vrana et al., 2016),  especially in the field of neuroimaging and neurophysiology (Henry et al., 2011). There are many … [Read more...]

Cognitive Biases and Young People’s Pain Experiences: What do we know and where to go next?

Many children and teenagers are affected by chronic pain, which can negatively impact their day-to-day activities, how they feel, and their likelihood of future health problems[1,2,3,4]. Psychological therapies are effective at treating pain and related disability across pain conditions in young people, but there is lots of room for improving their … [Read more...]

CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION or CONCERN? Thoughts on using left/right judgment tasks in clinical practice.

Introducing left/right judgement tasks (LRJTs) into clinical practice and using them in the management of individuals with chronic pain is, I think, something to celebrate and a success story for translational research. Seminal work on the mental rotation of objects almost 50 years ago (Shepard & Metzler, 1971) led the way for the subsequent … [Read more...]

The pediatric pain equation: Where do parental injustice appraisals of pain fit in?

Pain is not a singular physical sensation. It can be amplified or reduced by a multitude of physical, psychological, and social factors. For example, we recently found that when children view their pain as “unfair” or “unjust” (pain-related injustice appraisals) they also report more pain, impairment, and worse functioning, even after we accounted … [Read more...]

Pain as a threat to the social self

Times are changing. Our understanding of pain from a purely biomedical perspective has evolved to a biopsychosocial perspective of pain. Intuitively, pain has long been recognized as an experience that can fundamentally threaten our need to feel safe, both physically and psychologically. But what does it mean to say that pain is social? In earlier … [Read more...]

Tilting at Trigger Points

In the recent blog post some may feel it is remiss of Fernández-de-las-Peñas not to have at least considered the possibility that the clinical phenomena attributed to the so-called latent TrP (trigger point) could also be explained as arising from sensitised peripheral neural tissue. This concept was suggested nearly 25 years ago [1] and again more … [Read more...]