Practical Science on Movement and Pain

Category Archives: illusions

The Marble Hand Illusion

Moshe Feldenkrais said “we move in accordance with our self image.” A new study provides some cool evidence that our self-image is easily modified, and that the modifications have physiological consequences. The illusion was created quite simply. Researchers repeatedly struck someone’s hand very gently with a tiny hammer. Each time the hand was struck, the naturalRead More

Watch Your Back: Mirrors Reduce Back Pain

I just read an interesting paper from Lorimer Moseley‘s group about how looking at your back in the mirror can reduce back pain. The paper describes a simple study where people with back pain were asked to make numerous repetitive provocative movements of the low back under two conditions: one group was able to see theirRead More

Review of Moseley/Hodges Talk Part Three

This is part three of my review of the Lorimer Moseley and Paul Hodges conference on pain and motor control. You can read parts one and two here and here. This section will describe Lorimer’s discussion of the body maps and their connection to pain, motor control and immune responses. The brain’s map of theRead More

Review of Conference with Moseley and Hodges on Pain and Motor Control

This weekend I went to Portland, Oregon to attend a conference sponsored by the APTA Section on Women’s Health, featuring talks by Lorimer Moseley and Paul Hodges on the issues of chronic pain and motor control. It was a fantastic experience, and most of the time I was buzzing with geekcitement. Jealous you missed it?Read More

Wanting to be an Amputee (and More)

Well I just got back from a nice camping trip (that was far more comfortable than the last.) And tomorrow I am off for a week’s vacation (which will be even more comfortable.) So I don’t have much time for blogging, but I do have time to link to three interesting recent articles which showRead More

Great New Paper on Targeting the Brain for Treatment of Pain

I just read a new paper by Lorimer Moseley and Herta Flor called “Targeting Cortical Representations in the Treatment of Chronic Pain: A Review.” This is an excellent short review of what is known about the connection between chronic pain and changes to the brain, and how this information might be used by therapists toRead More

The Limits of Imagination

If you can dream it you can do it! Well, according to a recent study, maybe not so much, at least when your dream is to rehabilitate an arm weakened by stroke.

I have written several times on this blog about how imagery and visualization can be used to build coordination and physical skills. For example . . .Read More

More on Pain and Illusions

One of the main themes of this blog is that therapies attempting to treat chronic pain should target the brain for change, not just the body. Some recent studies based around sensory tricks or illusions provide further compelling evidence in support of this idea. 1. Big hand, small pain In the first study, researchers placedRead More

The Rubber Hand Illusion

Neuroscience is to some extent an exercise in reverse engineering the brain. Reverse engineering means trying to understand how a complex device works without knowledge of its design or access to the owner’s manual. One of the basic tools of reverse engineering is to disable one part of the machine and then see what effectRead More

The Thermal Grill Illusion

Body Map Error On this blog I frequently discuss the idea that pain can sometimes be caused by the brain’s faulty perception of the body as opposed to actual tissue damage to the body. Put another way, errors in the way the brain maps the body can cause threat which causes pain, even when thereRead MoreRead More