The benefits in taking a men’s health approach to pain

We know that there are sex and gender differences in the perception and experience of pain, with women generally reporting more painful episodes across their lifespan than men. While reasons for these sex differences focus on vulnerability factors (e.g., sex hormones), there are alternative ways of thinking about them. For example, as well as … [Read more...]

Two years on … do we know whether the internet can help to manage chronic pain?

It was just over two years ago when we were kindly invited to write a blog post for BodyInMind, which summarised our initial work trying to develop an internet-delivered pain management program. The eCentreClinic Team and I have been very busy since then. Why try to develop an internet-delivered pain management program? Well, research tells us … [Read more...]

EP 15 years in: historical and theoretical underpinnings

This is my second post based on a perspectives piece David Butler and I wrote for the Journal of Pain. You can get the gist of it by just reading the bolded sentences. It is some time now since John Loeser adapted Engel’s biopsychosocial model to fit it to the lived experience of chronic pain. From my perspective as someone who had experience on … [Read more...]

15 years of Explaining Pain – where have we been and where are we going?

Neuroscience was clearly my favourite course at uni – I loved it so much I was learning for fun, not for exams. I don’t recall ever studying for a neuroscience exam – it all seemed to magically stick in there – as if there were tailored docking stations in my brain just waiting for their particular neuroscience nugget to lock in. I found it … [Read more...]

Is education reassuring?

Acute low back pain is inherently worrying; often there is no clear cause, no effective treatment, and a widely variable time frame in which you can expect to recover. Happily for many, the prognosis is good - they can expect to be a lot better within a matter of weeks. Sadly, for the others, we know all too well where that road can lead. One of … [Read more...]

World Congress on Pain comes to you. 5: Innovative Approaches to Pain Education

Dr Eloise Carr (University of Calgary), Chair of the IASP Pain Education SIG coordinated the session “Innovative Approaches to Pain Education”. The goal of this session was to provide an update of the challenges and ongoing efforts of improving the consistency and accuracy of pain education in medical programs worldwide. Dr Carr, Dr Briggs, Dr … [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...]

A clash of beliefs: why our Western approach to pain didn’t work in a rural Zulu community

Graduating as a health professional can be both exciting and daunting. When we first qualified as physiotherapists, we couldn’t wait to get started. We were sent to a beautiful, rural, remote area of South Africa where we started clinical work under minimal supervision. But it was not long before we found ourselves out of our depth and wondering … [Read more...]

Can Pain Neuroscience Education Improve Endogenous Pain Inhibition?

Many chronic musculoskeletal pain disorders are characterized by the presence of central sensitization, which implies that the central nervous system is in a hypersensitive state in those who suffer from these disorders. Sensitivity to pain results from the outcome of the battle between pathways which facilitate the passage of nociceptive … [Read more...]