Editors picks: A simple question with a complex answer: Why do people seek healthcare?

Over this holiday season we are publishing our Editor’s picks of 2018 for you to read and enjoy again. The third and last one is by Derek Clewley. -- The obvious answer to the question, why do people seek healthcare for musculoskeletal conditions might be because of pain, loss of function, or disability. To some degree, all of these reasons are … [Read more...]

Editors picks: Pain as a threat to the social self

Over this holiday season we are publishing our Editor’s picks of 2018 for you to read and enjoy again. The second one is by Kai Karos. -- 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 … [Read more...]

Editors picks: Lifestyle behaviour change with chronic pain isn’t a piece of cake

Over this holiday season we are publishing our Editor’s picks of 2018 for you to read and enjoy again. The first one by Amanda Williams and Chris Williams -- Chronic pain and other chronic health issues appear to have considerable links. For example, data published by the Australia Institute of Health and Welfare show 64.5% of people with … [Read more...]

Search for the Holy Grail for Preventative Analgesia

The opioid epidemic is the largest public health issue facing the United States, and we are at a critical crossroads as pain physicians to find effective alternative medications and approaches for chronic pain. This sharp swing away from opioid prescription has left many patients in the US feeling desperate and helpless. The need for alternative … [Read more...]

Gender and pain: thinking beyond sex differences

Consider the following… What is the first question that comes to mind when you find out someone is pregnant? Most of us would ask “Is it a boy or a girl?” As humans, knowing whether someone is male or female is a part of how we organize information about them in our minds. Just knowing this one simple fact allows us to access a huge arsenal … [Read more...]

Patient education: panacea, public relations, or path to better care for patients with low back pain?

Part 2 What should patient education involve? Clinical guidelines provide little detail on the what, where, and how long of patient education. There are common features on what should be included: advice to stay active, reassuring of a good prognosis, nothing seriously wrong. Unfortunately, there isn’t much more than that. We don’t, for example, … [Read more...]

Patient education: panacea, public relations, or path to better care for patients with low back pain?

Part 1 Should patient education be part of my treatment? Patient education gets physiotherapists so worked up! I am often surprised at how virulent discussions of patient education can become. “Nocebo language”—language that worsens pain– seems to be a major concern. “Words can harm!” Did you just use a pathoanatomic label for non-specific low … [Read more...]

Explaining Pain for Acute Back Pain – reflections on Traeger et al. part 2

4. Why am I excited? First up, one of the great liberators of being a scientist is that we are not just permitted to change our minds, we are actually required to do so when the data say so. The Very Excellent Kevin Vowles uses the phrase ‘dance to the data’ and I like it. So, I have changed my mind about the likely benefit of just adding a two … [Read more...]

Explaining Pain for Acute Back Pain – reflections on Traeger et al. part 1

The PREVENT trial published recently in JAMA Neurology seems to have created a storm. If  views and tweets and general social noise are your metric, then this one weighs in pretty well – over 15K views and altmetric score passing 260 inside a week. But if impact on the community and likelihood to move the field forward is more your thing, then this … [Read more...]

Visual Expressions of Chronic Pain on Social Media

If chronic pain is so difficult to communicate in language, what understanding might we gain from using methods that are not focused primarily on words? The Communicating Chronic Pain project examined non-textual modes of expressing chronic pain, looking at what visual, aural, tactile and other materials might offer for understanding the experience … [Read more...]