Health Sciences

Chronic Pain Research Group

The main focus of our research is the identification of pain processing changes in chronic pain states, including chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions and post surgical pain. Investigations are focused on the presence of central sensitisation and long standing up-regulation of the pain system in chronic pain states in order to direct future management of such conditions.

Researchers:
Dr David Good (View Staff Profile)
Margot Sexton (View Staff Profile)
Pam Teys (View Staff Profile)
Associate Professor Meg Stuart (View Staff Profile)

Area of Research:

  • Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Conditions
  • Post Surgical Pain Conditions

Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Conditions

Current Research Projects:

Presence of central sensitisation in chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome and chronic non-specific musculoskeletal shoulder pain
The pain team is investigating the presence of central sensitisation in two common chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Two projects are currently underway using quantitative sensory testing and neurodynamic testing to look at the presence of central sensitisation in chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome.  A third project is looking at somatosensory and psychosocial changes in chronic non-specific shoulder pain. Changes in pressure pain thresholds, thermal pain thresholds and psychosocial profiles are being investigated in these projects. An ACU Research Support Team Grant has provided funding towards these projects and has allowed for three undergraduate Physiotherapy students to commence their honours program with the pain team.

Planned Project:

Cortical changes in chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome and chronic shoulder pain
Research looking at cortical changes in patients with chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome and chronic shoulder pain will commence in 2014. Honours projects will be made available as part of this study.

Collaborations:

  • Dr Leanne Bisset, Griffith University
  • Duncan Saunders, The Pain Education Group


Post Surgical Pain Conditions

The presence of hypersensitivity and central sensitisation among persistent post-CABG pain sufferers
A project is currently underway between the pain team and the Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, looking at the presence of central sensitisation in patients 6-8 weeks post coronary artery bypass grafting surgery.  This project is also using pressure pain thresholds to identify up-regulation of the pain system in this patient group. Further studies looking at the effect of sternal closure and persistent CABG pain are planned for the near future.  This project has also provided the opportunity for the pain team to supervise an honours student.

Collaborations:
Oystein Tronstard, The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane