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Airing Pain 122: The Many Faces of Research & Fibromyalgia

Visiting the forefront of research into pain conditions

This edition of Airing Pain has been supported with a grant from The Mirianog Trust donated for this purpose. It was recorded at the end of April 2020, the second month of the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. All interviews were recorded prior to the crisis.

As research for a Covid-19 vaccine is a priority for the scientific community, this edition of Airing Pain focuses on the roles of researchers, and in particular the many disciplines that come together to increase the understanding, and therefore the management of chronic pain.

First up, Paul Evans speaks to neurologist Claudia Sommer, whose research into fibromyalgia opens debate as to whether the condition should be treated as neuropathic pain.

Physiotherapist David Easton then talks about the research-led ESCAPE PAIN rehabilitation exercise programme for people with osteoarthritis in their hips or knees.

And finally, Paul visits the University of Bristol, where neuroscientist Bridget Lumb talks of the need for further research into the link between familiar contact and social interaction with chronic pain – particularly relevant at a time of social distancing – and social anthropologist Rachael Gooberman-Hill explains the role of the anthropologist in health and pain research.

Issues covered in this programme include: Fibromyalgia, arthritic pain, neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain, loss of nerve fibres, anthropology, societal and behavioural aspects of pain treatment, qualitative research, acute pain, exercise, and joint pain.


  • Dr Claudia Sommer, Professor of Neurology at the University of Würzburg in Germany and President-Elect of the International Association for the Study of Pain
  • David Easton, Physiotherapist at the Hywel Dda University Health Board in West Wales
  • Dr Bridget Lumb, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Bristol
  • Dr Rachael Gooberman-Hill, Professor of Health and Anthropology and Director of the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research at the University of Bristol.

More information:

With thanks to:

  • The British Pain Society (BPS), who facilitated the interviews at their Annual Scientific Meeting in 2019 –
  • The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
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