blog post #359
No, really, you will actually laugh — it’s like stand-up comedy. Australia’s Lorimer Moseley, Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and tireless pain researcher, is one of the best public speakers I’ve ever seen, and this is a must-watch video for anyone with chronic pain (and the professionals who care for them). Does he say “groovy” just a couple times too many? Maybe! But it is groovy … mate.
It’s entertaining, but it’s also serious. As Lorimer points out, chronic pain is an enormous social and medical problem, costing Australians (and everyone else) much more than several other common pain problems combined. Understanding pain really matters, and there’s some extremely important wisdom about pain in this video. Here are three quotes that jumped out at me:
How do we convince people in pain that we understand that they are in pain but it’s not just about the tissues of their body? A key conceptual shift that we think is really important is that you can understand that pain is the end result, pain is an output of the brain, designed to protect you … it’s not something that comes from your tissues.
That danger message arrives at the brain and the brain has to decide: What does this mean? What should be done here?
100% of the time, pain is a construct of the brain.
This all becomes really important when pain persists … the brain cells that produce pain get better and better at producing pain. They become more and more sensitive…
Any piece of credible evidence that [patients] are in danger should change their pain … And they are all walking into a hospital department with models like this on the desk: what does your brain say when it sees a disc that’s slipped so far out it’s sitting on its own? If you’ve ever seen a disc in a cadaver, you can’t slip the suckers — they’re immobile, you can’t slip a disc — but that’s our language, and it messes with your brain. It cannot not mess with your brain.
I laughed out loud at that last one, and then cheered. I’ve been bitching about those blasted models for years. Long before I’d ever heard of Lorimer, I’m proud to say. (What really gets me cranky about them is that the damned things aren’t cheap, and once a clinician has purchased one, it is likely to stay in his or her office for years, probably even decades. I’m sure there are probably hundreds of thousands of them in offices around the world that are at least twenty years old, and lots of clinicians are still buying new ones right now! Aaaaagh! Maddening!)
While you’re at it, see also Body In Mind and Lorimer’s 4-minute video introduction to that excellent organization and website. Much of what you see here on SaveYourself.ca is strongly influenced or inspired by BiM research and articles: they do the “heavy lifting,” and I translate and integrate their insights into my articles and tutorials. Not that they aren’t quite capable popularizers themselves!
There are also 247 more articles and eight big tutorials on the website, plus dozens more timely updates and “posts.” See the complete categorized index, or get some reading recommendations for patients or professionals.