If you’re new to pain management – ii

Now it’s time to turn to the details of the biopsychosocial model as it is applied to pain. There are some excellent resources available to look at this in both a simple way, and in much greater detail.

This site is written by a physiotherapist – and contains some well-written and reasonably simple information both about pain and more especially about low back pain. I’d suggest heading to this page on biopsychosocial model for a quick overview.

As far back as 1953, pain has been seen as more than simply either body or mind…
Pain is no longer considered exclusively either as a neurophysiological or a psychological phenomenon. Such a rigid dichotomy is obsolete, because pain is now recognised as the compound result of physiopsychological processes whose complexity is almost beyond comprehension.
The Management of Pain J Bonica Lea & Febiger 1953

For a good lecture covering how to communicate the biopsychosocial model in a medico-legal report, this podcast (audio only) is by Dr Jannie van der Merwe, Clinical Psychologist, The Real Health Institute, to the North British Pain Association at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh on Friday 16th November 2007. Worth a listen!

And now for some more academic papers, these ones are great references:

Gatchel, R. J. (2004). Comorbidity of chronic pain and mental health: The biopsychosocial perspective. American Psychologist, 59, 792–794.

Gatchel, R. J., Peng, Y. B., Peters, M. L., Fuchs, P. N., & Turk, D. C. (2007). The biopsychosocial approach to chronic pain: scientific advances and future directions. Psychological Bulletin, 133(4), 581-624

Hebb, D. O. (1949). Organization of behavior: A neuropsychological theory. New York: Wiley.

Korte, S. M., Koolhaas, J. M., Wingfield, J. C., McEwen, B. S. (2005). The Darwinian concept of stress: Benefits of allostasis and costs of allostatic load and the trade-offs in health and disease. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 29, 3–38.

Melzack, R. (2005). Evolution of the neuromatrix theory of pain. Pain Practice, 5, 85–94.

Melzack, R., & Wall, P. D. (1965, November 19). Pain mechanisms: A new theory. Science, 150, 971–979.


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