A quick note on brain~body — body~brain

Brain~Body

The brain is where it’s at. Or so it seems if you read the press or look at the bookshelves. The notion that brain is everything has been challenged recently and so it should — see here. We need enquiry at every point, challenging the comfort of thinking that we know. Despite this, it seems […]

The dark side — the brain’s creations

Neuroscience

The popular press is awash with neuroscience, now to the point that some authors are becoming ‘anti’. We need debate, so hats off to those contributors who rightly ask questions. We should never sit back and accept a ‘fact’ but instead, test, test, test. Despite this fresh discussion, we do accept that the brain has […]

How do you know where you are? | Neil Burgess speaks

Hippocampus

It is useful to know where you are. Neil Burgess spends his time studying this important function by looking at the brain, the hippocampus to be specific. It would appear that the same brain cells that create our sense of where we are and recalling that information for practical use are also at play when […]

Neuro……

There is a growing trend to ‘neuroscience-up’ as a way of powering information and concepts. This is no bad thing as it means that current research is being applied to enhance our understanding of who we are, what we do, why we do it and how we can best go about it. Certainly in the […]

Cervical Dystonia | What can we do?

I see a number of cases of cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis) that features awkward posturing and movement of the head and neck. This can be painful and have consequences for normal activities. We rely upon being able to orientate ourselves to our environment by controlling our head and gaze direction and then responding appropriately. Primary dystonia has no […]

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 […]

Contemporary understanding of factors in joint pain

Osteoarthritis and pain

Recent research has identified biological reasons for joint pain in arthritis: Interleukin-6, a pro-inflammatory cytokine released both locally at the joint and in the spinal cord, consequently plays a role in the widespread nature of the pain via its role in central sensitisation. Sprouting of sensory and sympathetic fibres at the joint may well have […]

Pain – some things you may not have realised

Explain Pain - Homonculus

Pain is multidimensional. Pain is 100% produced by the brain in response to a perceived threat. The brain allocates a location using the cortical maps, hence why we feel pain in our backs or knees. The brain tries to make sense of the situation, scrutinising what is going on on the basis of past experience […]

Back Pain and the BackCare Charity

Back pain is an enormous problem that impacts upon individuals and society. Most people will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime and a proportion will suffer continuing and recurring problems. Those who do continue to experience pain require effective treatment and strategies so that the impact and the distress that it can […]