Top 5 back pain myths

Back pain myths

Welcome to my top 5 back pain myths. What are these you may ask? Around pain and in particular back pain, there are many phrases and explanations used to try to educate the patient. These have been handed down through the generations and can appear to be logical. Fortunately, the science has moved on and […]

When is a door not a door? When it’s a jar – a perspective on back pain

20140730-225623-82583871.jpg

This old joke springs to mind when I think about back pain. We can think simply about a door and create an image of how it appears but in fact a door consists of at least some of the following: a piece of wood (or another material), a handle, some hinges, a lock and a […]

MRI for back pain – does the report content affect the management?

Lumbar spine MRI scan

Lumbar MR Imaging and Reporting Epidemiology: Do Epidemiologic Data in Reports Affect Clinical Management? This is the question posed by the authors of this recent study, seeking to determine whether adding details about changes seen on an MRI scan in those without symptoms had any impact. The conclusion was: ‘Patients were less likely to receive […]

Low back pain & neck pain | a very common problem

A scan does not show pain

Most of us will experience low back pain and neck pain at some point in our lives. In fact, it is unusual not to have some aches and pains around the spine. With back and neck pain being so common in the modern world, you would assume that treatment is very effective. Sadly not. There […]

The virus that is pain beliefs | A brief view on the ‘meme-osity’ of pain

Pain beliefs

We develop beliefs about pain very early in life through experience of injury, by the things we are told by significant others and via observation. These become ingrained and emerge later on when we experience a painful situation. This is part of how we decide what we should do when we are injured. At some […]

A few thoughts on Andy Murray and his ‘minor back surgery’.

Murray to have back surgery

The news that Andy Murray is to have a minor back operation hit the back pages last week. It is understood that he will undergo a microdiscectomy, a technique that minimises the tissue trauma in order to access the injured disc and the nerve that is being impacted upon by this structure. Microdiscectomy - what is […]

The Chelsea Flower Show, gardening and back pain

With the Chelsea Flower Show in full bloom the world of gardening is full of excitement and wonder as the designers exhibit their creations. Gardeners can relate to this sense of cultivation and creativity as they work hard to illustrate their vision through their plants, flowers, grasses and other garden features. Gardening is often physically […]

Back pain in football and sport

Back pain clinics, London

Back pain is a common experience across society. Millions are spent each year on treatment yet we do not seem to be making any significant progress in tackling this vast problem. Undoubtedly footballers are also subject to spinal aches and pains, either from a direct injury or insidiously. Most people whom I see fall into […]

Manual therapy, pain and the immune system

Pain relief

As a physiotherapist I frequently use my hands to treat the joints and tissues. It comes with the territory, everyone expects hands-on therapy and it does helps to reduce tension and pain. Most likely, the pain relief from joint mobilisation is due to descending mechanisms that include those that are powered by serotonin and noradrenaline […]

Central sensitisation is more common than you may think

Clifford Woolf recently said this about central sensitisation: Nociceptor inputs can trigger a prolonged but reversible increase in the excitability and synaptic efficacy of neurons in central nociceptive pathways, the phenomenon of central sensitization. Central sensitization manifests as pain hypersensitivity, particularly dynamic tactile allodynia, secondary punctate or pressure hyperalgesia, aftersensations, and enhanced temporal summation. It […]