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Chronic pain

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It’s not in the bones, but it might not be in the brain either. X-ray image by www.shutterstock.com

Chronic pain isn’t all in the brain, which is good news for sufferers

One in five of us has been experiencing chronic pain over the past three months, or longer. Chronic pain won’t kill us; it just makes our lives miserable. More miserable, research suggests, than for example…
The term RSI has been replaced by the occupational overuse syndrome, or OOS. Image from shutterstock.com

Repetitive strain injury: is it real or imagined?

Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, is a term which was developed to describe an epidemic of work-related arm and hand pain reported in Australia in the 1980s. While work-related arm and hand pain was and…
While a flinch, or a grimace may provide us with clues, ultimately we only know that someone’s in pain if they tell us. the italian voice/Flickr

Understanding pain: can the brain provide all the answers?

We now know that there’s much more to pain than simply what is happening in the painful body part, and attention has turned to the role of the brain. But not even this mysterious organ can tell us everything…
There are some effective ways to balance the harms of opioids with its benefits. strollerdos/Flickr

Some ways to balance the benefits and harms of opioids

The use of opioid medication in Australia has grown considerably in the past 20 years, and so have related harms. This increase in use is primarily for chronic pain conditions, now the most common reason…
One in five Australians suffer from chronic pain, which is notoriously difficult to treat. Image from shutterstock.com

Centipede venom could lead to new class of pain drug

A protein found in centipede venom could be developed into a drug to treat chronic pain that is as effective as morphine…
Cognitive and movement therapies can significantly reduce chronic, unexplained back pain and reduce the time taken off work. Image from shutterstock.com

Targeted therapies can help alleviate back pain: study

Changing the way people think and move can have a huge impact on their experience of unexplained lower back pain, a study…
The genome of the frui fly may hold the key to treating chronic pain. Fruit fly image via www.shutterstock.com

Pain genes in mice and flies could help develop drugs for humans

Researchers have mapped the genes that control pain perception in fruit flies, mice, and potentially humans. The map consists…
Some of the techniques that form the armamentarium of myotherapy are supported by some positive evidence. o5com

Myotherapy: panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Myotherapy was developed by American Bonnie Prudden in the 1970s as a system of treating painful…
We don’t know why some people don’t recover from an acute episode of pain. Kennedy/Wikimedia Commons

Pain really is in the mind, but not in the way you think

Everybody hurts, but not everybody keeps hurting. The unlucky few who do end up on a downward spiral of economic, social and physical disadvantage. While we don’t know why some people don’t recover from…
Chronic pain occurs when nerve cells misfire and send faulty pain signals to the brain. pinkangelbabe

What causes chronic pain? Microglia might be to blame

Imagine that a soft touch or brush of the skin was enough to evoke excruciating pain. This experience is common among people who suffer with chronic pain from nerve damage. The causes are varied and include…
Laughing in a group releases endorphins that help us cope with pain, a study has found. Flickr/puck90

Pain 10% more bearable after laughing with friends

Laughing with friends for around 15 minutes boosts a person’s pain threshold by an average of 10%, an international study…
Identifying the gene that regulates chronic pain, such as back pain, could lead to new treatments. Flickr/Andreanna Moya Photography

Chronic pain gene identified

British researchers say they have identified the gene that controls chronic pain, opening the door to new drug therapies…
There aren’t any miracle cures but there are a number of treatments that can reduce its severity. Flickr/Algo

Monday’s medical myth: osteoarthritis can be ‘cured’

Switch on daytime television on any given day and you’d be forgiven for thinking there was a cure for the debilitating and dreaded condition, osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, there’s not. And that’s not…

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