One in five Australians experience chronic pain that is serious enough to disable them, costing the country approximately $35 billion a year. People who experience chronic pain (pain that continues for more than three months) often struggle to find effective treatment, and can experience disability and even depression.
We are conducting research into the nature of chronic pain, looking at the role of our brain in the experience of persistent pain, and changes in the central nervous system that may also occur.
We are also investigating why some people develop excessive pain in response to injury, developing a disorder called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
This NHMRC funded randomised controlled study aims to prevent people with acute low back pain developing chronic low back pain using an optimised pain education approach. In this intervention a specially trained pain clinician provides two one-hour consultations with a patient with acute low back pain to discuss their condition.
Chronic pain, defined as pain lasting for >3 months, typically develops from injuries to deep tissues such as muscle, yet little is known about how long-lasting pain affects a person’s blood pressure or capacity to control their muscles. This project assesses the effects of tonic muscle pain on sympathetic nerve activity and stretch sensitivity of muscle spindles.
Science has received some criticism recently. Researchers have shown that some (not all) scientific findings are not reproducible. One contributing factor to this problem is that scientific endeavours are not always transparent or open. Fortunately, scientists are actively responding to this problem. One major player in this area is the The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS). […]