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Airing Pain 122: The Many Faces of Research

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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