Why do simple things hurt?

This talk by Professor of Neuroscience Lorimer Moseley (University of South Australia) explains why relatively harmless tasks and movements can sometimes cause severe pain. In essence, pain is based on an evaluation by the brain of how dangerous a situation is – like an internal alarm system. Often the pain alarm system is very accurate. However, there are times when this alarm system misfires and people experience severe pain in situations which are not dangerous for the body. This can be enormously frustrating for people with severe pain. It appears that the reasons for this misfiring of the pain response system – or the brains faulty assessment of how dangerous a situation is – relate to individual experiences. This includes the context of the pain and individual beliefs about what the pain means. By understanding what is happening in their body, people can begin to regain control of their pain and enhance their quality of life.


For more information on Prof. Moseley and his research group, visit

For further information on understanding chronic pain, this short animated video may also be of interest.

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