The Conversation is “a collaboration between editors and academics to provide informed news analysis and commentary that’s free to publish and read”, or as I like to think about it; “people who actually know about stuff writing about stuff without all the BS stuff that usually accompanies news.” The Conversation has long published Explainer pieces – posts written by experts, aimed at non-experts, covering everything from neutron stars and neuroscience, to geology and geopolitics.
The Conversation is promising a series of Explainers on Pain (with some work, that could make a great title for a book…) and Lorimer Moseley has written a cracking first entry:
“Pain scientists are reasonably agreed that pain is an unpleasant feeling in our body that makes us want to stop and change our behaviour. We no longer think of pain as a measure of tissue damage – it doesn’t actually work that way even in highly controlled experiments. We now think of pain as a complex and highly sophisticated protective mechanism…
To reduce pain, we need to reduce credible evidence of danger and increase credible evidence of safety. Danger detectors can be turned off by local anaesthetic, and we can also stimulate the body’s own danger-reduction pathways and mechanisms. This can be done by anything that is associated with safety – most obviously accurate understanding of how pain really works, exercise, active coping strategies, safe people and places.” (emphasis added)
I think that the entire piece represents the most comprehensive ‘position statement’ on Lorimer’s current thinking about pain written for the non-expert public. This is something that could be shared with patients, as well as colleagues, mums, dads, sisters and brothers, friends and neighbours… – in fact, the more people it is shared with the better as this will encourage The Conversation to keep running stories on this important issue, which will in turn help to spread up to date and accurate knowledge about pain to more and more people.