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The resources referred to here are from a range of sources - websites, blogs, journal articles, videos, books etc.  They are continually being added to and updated.   The purpose of this section is to help direct you to new, accurate information that may assist you in your journey, bearing in mind that what is known about pain is changing all the time as newer research emerges.  Keep checking in to see what is new.  Some books referenced in this resource list are available for loan.  These are marked with [LOAN COPY AVAILABLE].

Chronic pain

An excellent resource developed by a team of health professionals including physiotherapists, psychologists, nurses, doctors and occuppational therapists to help people understand what they can do to manage pain.  Produced by the New Zealand Pain Society.

Fascinating book which discusses how pain responses are produced by the brain, how responses to injury from the nervous system (autonomic motor) and immune systems in your body contribute to pain, and why pain can persist after tissues have had plenty of time to heal.  The book aims to give people in pain the power to challenge pain and to consider new models for viewing what happens to the body and brain during pain. The book goes into the science of pain but uses everyday language, great analogies and images that help the reader to grasp the concepts. The book is aimed at health professionals and people living with chronic pain. [LOAN COPY AVAILABLE].

Site created by Joletta Belton on the lived experience of chronic pain.  Joletta shares her reflections and knowledge to help empower people.  The site is aimed at those living with ongoing pain and those working with people experiencing ongoing pain.  An excellent site that explores what pain science education, living well, mindfulness, movement, knowledge, nature, creativity, and connection  did to help her change her pain and what it can do to help others do the same. 

Short, comic-style, research-based book explains how strange pain is and how understanding it is often the key to relieving its effects. The book is very easy to read and humorous and it's engaging graphic format reveals how you can change your mind’s habits to relieve your pain. [LOAN COPY AVAILABLE].

Free online course for people with persistent or chronic pain.  Done via short visual presentations covering topics such as Understanding Pain, Mind and Goals, Sleep and Pain, Medications, Relationships

Website dedicated to helping people understand, reduce and manage their pain.  It includes an animated video narrated by pain researcher Lorimer Moseley explaining how pain works and new approaches to help people reduce persistent pain, easy to understand information to help people understand pain and a stack of other resources for those who wish to delve a little deeper.  Aimed at the general public.

Presentation explaining the wonders of our brain's own pain relieving chemicals and how we can make use of them to manage persistent pain. Engaging and easy to understand.

Short animated video about the power of thoughts in altering pain, with the ability to increase (viruses) or decrease (vaccines) pain.  Raises the concept of 'psychology of pain'. Well presented and easy to understand.

Greg Lehman discusses the role of tissue changes in relation to pain - they may be relevant but don't always explain pain. Structural changes e.g. disc herniation, degeneration, tendinosis may be likened to kindling for a fire - they don't cause the problem but may be a component of pain, and I add here, for some people, some times.

Great visual presentation that delves in to chronic pain and self management strategies - medical, thoughts and emotions, diet and lifestyle, personal stories underlying pain, physical activity and function. Aimed at the general public.

Neuroscientist Lorimer Moseley discusses what is happening in the nervous system. While the article is on the Body in Mind website (an organisation involved in research in the role of brain and mind in chronic pain), the article is written in a way that makes it accessible to those with a minimal understanding of science.

TEDx Talk from Neuroscientist Lorimer Moseley exploring why we hurt, whether we actually "feel" pain or whether it is an illusion, how pain is a protective mechanism and what this means for people with chronic pain.  Goes into the scientific side but his presentation is engaging, insightful and humorous and is still very accessible to people without a background in science. I highly recommend watching it.

Information about work related pain, potential causes and practical tips to assist recovery.  Includes interviews with clinicians and people with pain talking about their recovery.

Good run down on the science of pain.  Aimed at educating fitness professionals but is equally of value to anyone interested in understanding pain.


Science writer Paul Ingraham discusses the science of this condition - symptoms, conditions that can be confused with it, the relationship with stress, treatment advice and more.


Journal article looking at the effectiveness of tai chi interventions vs aerobic exercise, to test whether the effectiveness of tai chi depends on its dosage or duration.  It found that tai chi resulted in similar or greater improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms than aerobic exercise, which has been the current most commonly prescribed non-drug treatment for patients with fibromyalgia.  Results also indicated that those doing tai chi over a longer time period (e.g. 24 weeks compared to 12 weeks) showed greater improvement. This mind-body approach may be considered a therapeutic option in the multidisciplinary management of fibromyalgia.​

Low Back Pain

Easy to read information to help people understand and be better informed about back pain with some advice from a range of clinicians.

Research article exploring the prevalence of attitudes and beliefs about back pain in New Zealand and compare certain beliefs based on back pain history or health professional exposure.  Results showed that a large proportion of respondents believed they needed to protect their back to prevent injury.  Such beliefs may result in reduced confidence to use the back and contribute to fear avoidance.  Providing people with clear guidance about levels of activity may help them to feel more confident about doing active recovery.

Simple facts about exercising with back pain to help dispel fear about moving.


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