Racial/Ethnic Differences in Pain: Does Biology Play a Role?

In the 21st century, it is hard to imagine pain was once conceptualized as a simple sensory experience. Indeed, pain might be easier to treat if the experience were linearly related to the amount of tissue damage. For better and worse, our experience of pain is anything but straight-forward; it is wrapped up in a complex interaction between … [Read more...]

Vitamin D, osteoarthritis and pain

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative (aaagh – what a threatening word that is!) condition of joints which gets worse over time[1]. It is the leading reason for knee and hip replacement surgery - about 1.8 million Australians were diagnosed with OA in 2011-12.[1] A new study[2] has set out to determine if vitamin D might be a key moderator of the … [Read more...]

If only surgery wasn’t such a pain in the…. knee!!

Liz, a 65 year old retired nurse, was diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis (OA) several years ago. Her GP subsequently prescribed a range of non-surgical and pharmaceutical interventions to treat her knee pain with limited success. Recently, she was referred to an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate the need for a total knee replacement (TKR). While TKR … [Read more...]

Self-management for people with back pain and osteoarthritis – reviewing the evidence

Osteoarthritis (OA) and chronic low back pain (CLBP) are two of the most common musculoskeletal pain conditions in the developed world (WHO, 2003). These conditions place a huge burden on both the health system, in terms of service demand, and the people with the condition, in terms of quality of life and personal wellbeing (Buchbinder et al., … [Read more...]

Healing Hands MIRAGEs and illusions

Around this time last year, our research at The University of Nottingham unexpectedly stumbled into the media spotlight: “Mind tricks may help arthritic pain; Illusions can halve the pain of osteoarthritis” the headlines read. See the original BBC news article complete with video here. They were referring to our MIRAGE multisensory illusions … [Read more...]