This page is a collection of links to the websites and articles that I personally have found helpful.
Life is Now– Neil Pearson. Neil is a Canadian physiotherapist, yoga teacher, and educator who has done amazing work on the subject of chronic pain. I was first introduced to Neil’s work by a physical therapist who had attended a training with him, and it changed my life.
My PT insisted I watch the following three lectures, given by Neil. I would not be able to give any of the explanations for pain that I do on this website without the information they contain. If you have chronic pain, you honestly must watch them.
For more great resources from Neil, and to read more on how his work has transformed my perspective on pain, click here!
Amazing network of researchers and health-care professionals based in British Colombia. Neil Pearson is on their board of directors.
They do a lot of work around educating the public, as well as health care professionals, on the nature of pain. They also hold conferences on pain science (which I would someday love to attend!).
Neuro Orthopedic Institute & David Butler
David Butler, currently the head of the NOI group, has made some amazing contributions to the study of pain. His book Explain Pain, co-written with Lorimer Moseley, is one of the seminal works on the new advances in pain science. You can also check out the blog for the Neuro Orthopedic Institute at noijam.com
A really interesting group of neuroscience researchers based in Australia. They study pain and what happens when the body’s pain processing system begins to malfunction. According to the Who We Are section of their website, Body in Mind is:
“…exploring how the brain and its representation of the body change when pain persists, how the mind influences physiological regulation of the body, how the changes in the brain and mind can be normalised via treatment, and how we can teach people about it all in a way that is both interesting and accurate.”
Lorimer Moseley is one of the driving forces behind Body in Mind. He does research focusing on the idea that pain is not an accurate indicator of tissue damage: sometimes we feel pain when there’s nothing wrong, and sometimes something can be very wrong and yet we feel no pain.
One of the things I like about Moseley is that he seems to have a great sense of humor, and works a lot of witty anecdotes into his explanations of pain.
Moseley wrote the book Painful Yarns, which is full of stories illustrating his argument that pain is not always an accurate indicator of tissue damage. You can learn more about Moseley’s research from his TED talk “Why Things Hurt” and his article “Pain really is in the mind, but not in the way you think.”
TED Talk by Elliot Krane, pediatrician and anesthesiologist. Goes into detail about the physiological mechanisms by which central sensitization occurs.
Favorite quote: “It’s almost as if somebody came into your home and rewired your walls so that the next time you turned on the light switch, the toilet flushed three doors down… it sounds crazy, but that’s what happens, and that’s why chronic pain becomes its own disease.”
Dr. Sean Mackey: An Update on Fibromyalgia. Amazingly informative lecture on recent research into the causes of fibromyalgia. Dr. Mackey discusses fibromyalgia in the context of what brain imaging can tell us about the effect of pain on the brain.
Dr. Mackey’s work is pretty awesome– you can find out more via his website, as well as this great New York Times article on the research he is conducting (along with Christopher deCharms) at Stanford. (And for more related resources, check out my page on using brain imaging to study chronic pain!).
Institute for Chronic Pain: a really cool education and public policy think tank. They have some great articles, including
- What is central sensitization?
- Is fibromyalgia still an ideopathic condition? (This means: is fibromaylgia still an unexplained condition?
- What is chronic back pain?
Ronald Melzack, Pain Pioneer: really informative video on one of the scientists who came up with the groundbreaking gate control theory of pain. It does a great job of explaining not only the theory itself, but how Melzack’s life experiences informed his work. Definitely worth a watch.
Understanding Human Pain, suffering and relief through brain imaging — Great lecture on the mechanisms of chronic pain and the future of pain treatment by Irene Tracy, Professor of Anesthetic Science at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Center for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain.
PainScience.com Science writer and massage therapist Paul Ingraham has written some really interesting and easy-to-understand articles on pain science and coping with injuries. Some of my favorites include Central Sensitization in Chronic Pain and Pain is an Opinion.
Pain Maps— Really great site run by Jessica Mendes, a writer living with fibromyalgia and CRPS. She has a lot of really great information on these conditions, as well as pain science in general. I highly recommend this site, and the articles she links to.
The New York Times article: “The Long Search for Fibromyalgia Support.” Really great piece that details fibromyalgia sufferers’ struggle to be heard, and interviews Dr. Muhammad Yunus, one of the foremost fibro researchers.
UC Television Youtube Lecture Series, produced by the University of California. Really informative talks outlining some of the most recent research on pain and treatment:
I’ve been finding so many great links, I had to give them their own sections!
Great Posts on Other Sites
Top 10 things you should expect when visiting any Therapist for pain. From “Daily Yoga Practice” Blog.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
I consider myself fortunate to never have developed CRPS. However, I learned a lot about this condition in my struggle to find answers, and really have a lot of empathy for the people who suffer from it. I made this separate CRPS page to share resources I thought might be useful.
I’ve also created the Sunlight in Winter Youtube Channel, as a convenient way to show all of my video recommendations in one place.