Practical Science on Movement and Pain

Category Archives: pain reduction

Pain and Memory

Louis Gifford said that learning about the biology of memory was very informative to his understanding of chronic pain. For example, he thought certain pains were like advertising jingles that get stuck in your head  – they’re annoying, don’t serve any purpose, and are hard to get rid of. Here are some other interesting connections between pain… Read More

Pain and Learning

What does chronic pain have to do with learning? Here’s a quick post with links and quotes from three new papers that help explain the role of associative learning in chronic pain. Because many of the quotes contain a bunch of fancy language, here’s a quick bit of background on the key concept – learning through… Read More

The Science of Placebo

What does the word placebo mean? Does the placebo effect involve actual health benefits or just imagined benefits? Is placebo “mind over body” or “all in your head”? Is it unethical to provide a client with placebo treatments? And what about nocebos? In this article I’ll answer these questions and discuss some fascinating research by… Read More

Summary of Great Interview with Kieran O’Sullivan

I just listened to an excellent interview of physical therapist and back pain researcher Kieran O’Sullivan at the PhysioEdge blog. Kieran is part of the group at Pain.Ed, which also includes Peter O’Sullivan, who is, by the way, featured in a very cool video I discussed here. (In case you are wondering, there are several group… Read More

Graded Exposure

Graded exposure is a key concept in understanding how to reduce pain caused by movement. It’s a very common sense idea, and one that most people kind of know at some level, because there is profound truth to it. But it’s also an idea that most people will probably fail to put into practice in a… Read More

Book Excerpt: Sensation Versus Perception

Since I’m in the process of writing a book, I don’t have much time to post. So here’s a little excerpt from the book. It’s about the distinction between sensation and perception. *     *     * Although the terms sensation and perception are often used interchangeably in everyday life, psychologists distinguish between… Read More

Pain Science Confusion

In recent years, pain science has become far more widely known, and that is leading to some interesting conversation and also confusion in the fitness, massage and manual therapy communities. Lorimer Moseley and David Butler have been charismatic and influential teachers on this issue. A good example of their work is found in the popular… Read More

How Does Foam Rolling Work?

Foam rolling is very popular. Athletic trainers use it as a part of the warm-up. Physical therapists use it as part of their treatment strategy, often to improve extensibility of “short” tissues. There is very limited evidence about what benefit, if any, foam rolling confers. But there are a few studies showing it leads to… Read More