Lorimer welcomes you to the Pain Revolution

A few years ago, I was sitting in a conference listening to what was pretty cool science. I remember thinking ‘this is a nice little development’. I looked around the theatre. I recognised faces – eminent scientists and promising early career researchers; experts of this and that. Then it struck me: these meetings can be great for our collective … [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...]

Arts workshops as a space for pain communication

The second part  of the Communicating Chronic Pain project involved a series of arts workshops undertaken with participants with pain, their carers and interested clinicians [1] (for the first part go here). Qualitative research on pain experience has largely been based on interviews, and frequently emphasises that it is an isolating experience … [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...]

Aerobic exercise and pain perception in people with headache – what’s the latest?

Now the paper is actually called “Has aerobic exercise effect on pain perception in persons with migraine and co-existing tension-type headache and neck pain?  A randomised controlled, clinical trial” and I confess I did have to read the title several times to get my head around it, but I was instantly intrigued. What do we know about this? There … [Read more...]

Talking the talk: starting the conversation

As physios we spend much of the working day talking with patients (and colleagues!) and consider it one of our core skills, whatever field we work in. These interactions are unique and personal, and have the ability to make or break the outcome of any and every treatment.  If communication is the most important skill that health professionals have … [Read more...]

A Journey to Learn about Pain – a book about pain education for children

Persistent pain in children is an increasingly recognized clinical problem with high prevalence rates found in some populations. A conservative estimate posits that 20% to 35% of children and adolescents are affected by persistent pain worldwide (1). The most commonly reported pain problems in children and adolescents are headache; abdominal pain; … [Read more...]