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Not the fitball’s fault – it’s Nav1.7’s

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How a Single Gene Could Become a Volume Knob for Pain

(Excerpt from How a Single Gene Could Become a Volume Knob for Human Suffering by Erika Hayasaki | art by Sean Freeman 04.18.17 on Wired)

…When Stephen Waxman was a student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the early 1970s, he became interested in painhow people feel it, how the body transmits it, and how, as a future neurologist, he could learn to control it. Later in his career, after his father was in the final stages of agonizing diabetic neuropathy, he became obsessed with helping patients like his dad, who could find no relief from their pain. “We simply had to do better,” he says. Continue Reading

Dr Doidge, Are Some Brains More Plastic than Others?

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I never shop from my phone, but given Theo and I were away for the weekend (researching our next phase of life), I felt it was worth the risk responding to The School of Life‘s Dr Norman Doidge event and booked our two tickets.

Glad I did. The event was sold out within the week and over 300 people were on the cancellation list.

In 2011, after my peripheral stimulation device was implanted (and having my reading ability restored), I reached for  Dr Doidge‘s, The Brain That Changes Itself, and grasped the idea to contact Prof Lorimer Moseley who was referenced within the book.

That idea led to my diagnosis.

So my mind ran. What might happen if I actually met Dr Doidge?! Continue Reading

The School of Life special event: Norman Doidge On Neuroplasticity

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I have a soft spot for Norman Doidge!

I associate his book, The Brain That Changes Itself, with my second biggest turning point (I’ve had a few if you want to read about them: turning point 1, 2, 3…)

You can hear Norman Doidge speak about his latest book, The Brain’s Way of Healing thanks to the fabulous School of Life. Here are all the details:

We know that our minds and bodies are intricately connected, but can changing our minds improve our health?

Continue Reading

SBS Insight: Ouch!

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Last night SBS’s Insight program aired Ouch! How much pain can you handle? 

I thought the program was great and provided a great broad definition about pain’s many forms and the varying ways it impacts people’s lives.

As usual, I was waiting for a lead. Waiting to hear that someone with chronic pain had found a way out of it and was cured. Mrs Gleeson, I could have bet you were going to say you were fine, after all, you looked it! And so did Lesley Brydon, Pain Australia‘s CEO… how could she be in any pain?

Tonight was the night I was going to hear about my cure.

It didn’t happen.

That made me want to write this post… I want to write to those that felt the slump and weight of the thought that remained with them at the end of the program that went something like this: I’m never going to get better.

It made me want to write, don’t believe it!

Well I don’t believe it, I don’t accept that my body will remain in this rut as long as I live and I believe this because I can see I’m getting better sloooooooowly. Answering the following questions allow me to come to that conclusion:

  • How am I compared to a year ago?
  • How is my activity compared to a year ago?
  • How does my treatment compare to a year ago?
  • How are my pain levels compared to a year ago?
  • What is my creativity like compared to a year ago?
  • What is my work ability like compared to a year ago?
  • How much help do I need compared to a year ago?

My answers;  I am better, more active, having much less treatment, my pain levels are lower, I am more creative, I have sustained my work ability and I need a little less help. There!

It’s not the best answer, a year is a long time but I believe the thinking ‘It is what it is‘ as stated by Mrs Gleeson, almost allows an acceptance, a kind of peace with pain. I experienced that and from there I personally used that calm to pace me back to life.

It’s working.

I believe in brain plasticity, I believe in healing, and I am very well aware our brains are uniquely wired. I’ve always thought, the harder the task, the more committment, sacrifice and discipline required, and chronic pain is definitely the greatest task of my life. I don’t feel there’s another choice for me but to listen to my self, pave my own unique pain management, take in information from programs such as these and their brilliant guest professionals, and just do my best.

I believe I can make my own conclusion to ‘Ouch’… Chronic pain will not be with me forever.

The latest pain definitions from Prof Lorimer Moseley

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Lorimer Moseley Presentations-03Lrg

Getting a grip on pain and the brain – Professor Lorimer Moseley – Successful Ageing Seminar 2013

Always great to hear the latest definitions and discoveries regarding pain from THE pain Professor, Lorimer Moseley.

It still stumps me however, to hear how ‘intelligent’ the brain is but yet how stupid its ‘brilliance’ is of learning pain tunes. In fact I’m not sure I’m stumped, I’d rather call it disbelief that all this horrific pain I’ve endured the past 6.5 years can be a tune… a learned behaviour. I certainly don’t dismiss the research and of course we’ll all be examples of different definitions of pain but in my tail’s tip, I believe my undiagnosed and unrecognised injury to my pudendal nerve injury, and the lack of treatment, has created a great wound that if not scarred will need its time to heal.

Yes, I pace up my activity (or is it better put that I juggle it well), but now that I am having appropriate treatment, I’m going to hold the thought that I may be nursing my wound towards healing. I am happy however, to let anyone who swears by ‘pain tunes’ to believe that I’m also slowly changing my brain’s pain signal and that the process is more about plasticity.

Whatever floats your boat I say, so long as it leads to cure.

Watch Lorimer’s presentation: Continue Reading

Registration open for PainAdelaide 2013

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Thanks for your patience folks. PainAdelaide 2013 is now open for registrations. We have had to adjust the price slightly – it is $100 full registration and $65 for full time students (only 40 student places available), and you have the opportunity to pay a bit more if you earn big bucks or you think the programme is just too good to accept at this rock-bottom price.

The programme is jam-packed with quality and diversity. We have four international speakers. We have clinicians and scientists. We have a room that will only hold 150 people, so get in fast.  Click here for the PainAdelaide2013 Program. Click here for the Registration Form – it is a PDF so you will need to fill it out and email or fax or mail it back. First in best dressed.

Pain Adelaide 2013 Programme Registration open for PainAdelaide 2013

Are you a cyclist?

Why not come a day early and join 700 other cyclists in UniSA’s Ride for Pain, including the option of taking on the True King of the Mountain on Corkscrew Road, an Iconic Australian Ascent? Click here for info and registration.

Interested in sponsoring or having a stall at PainAdelaide 2013?

If you would like to sponsor the meeting, or have a stall, and your objectives align with ours, then please email tracy.jones@unisa.edu.au

Pain Adelaide logo small 150x150 Registration open for PainAdelaide 2013PainAdelaide is an interdisciplinary cross-institution collaborative initiative to develop a synergistic and highly-visible pain research community in Adelaide. What does this mean? Well, Adelaide’s three Universities – UniSA, Adelaide & Flinders – all have world class pain researchers doing world class work.

The objectives of PainAdelaide are to improve the quality and impact of pain research and clinical practice in South Australia, and by so-doing, across Australia and abroad. We will do this by:

  • bringing high quality researchers together, to act as ‘cortical prostheses’ for each other, to exploit the unique contributions and intellectual diversity of Adelaide’s Universities, and to facilitate collaboration on interdisciplinary projects;
  • developing a visible pain-focussed presence in Adelaide;
  • directly engaging with, and developing ongoing constructive relationships with, Adelaide’s high quality pain clinicians;
  • fostering a collaborative spirit of intellectual curiosity between researchers, clinicians, stake holders and consumers;
  • confirming and extending Adelaide’s long-standing reputation as a Centre of Excellence in pain research and treatment.

PainAdelaide 2013 is our first meeting.

Read more or bookings: www.bodyinmind.org/registration-open-for-painadelaide-2013/

How do nerves work?

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A brilliant lesson on nerves and how they work. I found this through the wonderful body in mind website. Read the forum going or head over to TedED to find more brilliant lessons.
Thank you to these forward thinking brilliant people. And to the creatives that put the presentations together.

By Educator, Elliot Krane and Animator, Franz Palomares

“At any moment, there is an electrical storm coursing through your body. Discover how chemical reactions create an electric current that drives our responses to everything from hot pans to a mother’s caress.” Continue Reading

The NOI Neurodynamics and the Neuromatrix conference SA, Australia, 26-28th April, 2012

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The NOI Neurodynamics and the Neuromatrix conference comes to Adelaide, Australia.

Download a copy of all this fantastic information in book form [1MB]

Pain and stress are massive problems – not only financially for us all but because of what they do to work, family life, creativity and productivity. Let’s do something. Let’s try to close the knowledge gap which has opened up as the neuroscience revolution races away from standard clinical practice.

Following on from the success of our first international Neurodynamics and the Neuromatrix conference in the UK, NOI announces its second conference on 26th-28th April, 2012, in the beautiful city of Adelaide, Australia. Be prepared to have this conference bring the city and surrounds to you in a way that has never been done before.

We’ll have the juicy new neurosciences– plasticity, mirror neurones, pain and stress literacy, neuroscience-backed psychology, neuroimmunology, neurodynamics and movement/brain sciences from the world’s best. Try thinking of it more as a festival than a conference – the Woodstock of neuroscience!

But we’ll go much deeper to fulfil the conference aim of moving pain and stress management into the realm of neuroscience-backed biopsychosocial practice. This conference is chock-a-block with intellectual nourishment. Even the lunchtimes will be packed with art, meditation, neuroscience updates, dance, and learning about social media applications for healthcare and research, not to mention the parties!

Read more…

Windows into pain

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How does an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow deal with his chronic pain?

March 9, 2012 By

I have a painful shoulder. It has been hurting since mid-December. I can recall no incident – just woke up one morning with severe pain on pretty much any movement. Now, I am not looking for diagnoses, nor in fact sympathy. What I would like to do instead is to run you through some interesting reflections I have had. Continue Reading

HowToCopeWithPain.org

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I feel I’m exercising my brain when I read an article that sparks more thought and leads me on a hunt for more and more information and the process all results in gold! It might not necessarily be what I was looking for but a lovely surprise nevertheless (and some excellent resources).

I had one of these info-journeys last weekend. It began by reading Imagine: The Science of Creativity in The Saturday’s Age (Melbourne 7th April) by Jonah Lehrerare, and coming across this quote: Sleeping is the height of genius by Kierkegaard. It made me think about another possible cure for my issue (I know, very far-fetched but imagine if my brain could be programmed to make me live/dream all the activities my pudendal nerve won’t let me do by night?! Imagine?!). So I went to my favorite, most trusting online resource, no, not Google, Body In Mind Continue Reading

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Definitions of pain

What is Pudendal Neuralgia (PN)?
Most simply put PN is Carpal Tunnel in the pelvis/buttocks. Compression of the Pudendal Nerve occurs after trauma to the pelvis and is aggravated with pressure. The pain is often described as a toothache like pain, with spasms, sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning. It can be very debilitating.

What is Neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain is the result of an injury or malfunction in the peripheral or central nervous system. The pain is often triggered by an injury, but this injury may or may not involve actual damage to the nervous system. More…

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