A human being can be considered as an open, living adaptive system that aims to adapt to the environment and survival. Like every system, it includes nested subsystems, that function as component parts. A system is defined by a set of components constituting a whole within which each component interacts with or is related to at least one other component. All these components serve a common objective. Some (sub)systems of the human body are the nervous, endocrine, and immune system, and they function interdependently. In the following, I will explain how these systems work, in what way these specific systems function interdependently, and why this is different for each individual.
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In just two years, COVID-19 has broadly impacted and disrupted usual health care, often leading to the postponement of non-urgent health care practices [1]. Despite these and other negative consequences, the pandemic is also responsible for an increase in the use of tele- and eHealth applications. Such applications use the potential of smartphones, computers, and the internet to allow for remote patient treatment and monitoring [2, 3]. Specifically, patient education via e-learning seems to be a cost-effective and easy-to-implement use of such eHealth applications. In fact, studies introducing eHealth applications as a way to further inform and educate patients have already been completed successfully [4-6]. Though eHealth interventions for perioperative education in patients undergoing lumbar surgery are still evolving, early evidence is supportive of such applications [7].
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A new international, multidisciplinary collaborative has been formed with world-leading experts in pain science education, (cancer) pain, and oncological rehabilitation: Pain Education after CANcer.
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Chronic pain is one of the major concerns worldwide. Chronic pain in the elderly can be a challenging situation for clinicians not just for the complexity of chronic pain itself but also for the comorbidities that can be present at this age range.
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Chronic pain is a health problem that is affecting about 20 percent of the European population (Van Hecke, Torrance & Smith, 2013). Considering the cost of chronic pain, we should take into account the public health care expenditure but also costs caused by loss of productivity (Boonen, 2005). According to the ‘NHG standard: pain’ (De Jong et al., 2018) for the pharmacological treatment of pain, the first step is the use of a non-opioid analgesic, including paracetamol, followed by the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If this does not work (sufficiently), step two is the prescription of a weak opioid analgesic such as tramadol.
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The word “epigenetics” can be split in “epi” and “genetics” - “epi” means on and “genetics” refers to DNA - so epigenetics refers to molecules that are attached on our DNA. These molecules change the readability of the manual of our body and thus impact all body functions. What is interesting about epigenetics, is that it can be influenced by several factors, for example lifestyle and environmental factors.
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For many children, needle procedures can be a painful and distressing experience. Such negative experiences can further develop into fear of needles (McMurtry et al., 2015) with a possibility of adverse consequences, such as health care avoidance behavior and vaccine hesitancy. Given the current combat with the COVID-19 pandemic and global vaccination campaign, which since recently also includes children, reducing fear of needles is important to consider and manage (Love and Love, 2021).
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Whiplash associated disorders remain the most common injury associated with motor vehicle accidents and a major cause of disability (Ritchie et al, 2013). The consequences for people suffering a whiplash injury can be substantial with an evidential impact on their daily living (Campbell et al, 2018). Still, the exact pathophysiology is not entirely clear.
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Physical activity levels can be assessed by two main types of measures: objective or subjective measures (Prince et al., 2008). Each measure has its own strengths and weaknesses confirming the need for the examination of their psychometric properties (Prince et al., 2008; Hills et al., 2014).
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Chronic pain, chronic primary pain, chronic secondary musculoskeletal pain, chronic postsurgical or posttraumatic pain,… What is the difference between these terms and which one contains knee osteoarthritis pain?
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There is something tempting about numbers and figures. They are ‘clear’, we believe them to be straightforward and helpful in untangling our complex world. In healthcare, both clinical and in research, we love quantitative measures.
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Haemophilia is a genetic disorder which is characterized by recurrent joint bleedings. Consequently, the majority of adult PwH suffer from very painful and invalidating hemophilic arthropathy. Although the complexity of joint pain has been studied in several chronic joint pain conditions, until present only very limited research has been done on joint pain within PwH. As a result, developing effective treatments for chronic pain in PwH has been clearly identified as a priority for research in bleeding disorders.
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It is a challenging time to stay active and to adapt our normal activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As working out in group or with a supervisor is not always possible, exercises at home gain popularity. We have never been walking so much as during the past year, as it was one of the only possibilities to have some social contact.
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Every time we experience something new, we are in the position of learning and memorising the new experience. Learning depends on several factors, including motivation, rewards, self-reflection, saliency, and repetition. One additional important aspect that seems crucial for learning is the presence of a prediction error.
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Before we were all held captive by the COVID-19 pandemic, another pandemic was (and still is) dominating our world. With high prevalence rates, some consider obesity the ‘real’ pandemic of the 21st century.
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Excessive or persistent proinflammatory cytokine production plays a central role in autoimmune diseases. Research by Kox M. et al. (1,2) evaluated the effects of a training program on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and innate immune response.
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Over the past decades mechanism-based approach to pain management has been progressively underlined to achieve clinically meaningful improvements in pain outcomes.
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COVID-19, a highly infectious disease that was first reported in Wuhan in China in December 2019, has definitely changed our behaviour. COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
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​In Europe, 1 in 5 people suffer from chronic pain, which means that we all know someone who is struggling with chronic pain complaints. This pain can be located in a specific region, such as migraine or chronic low back pain, but can also occur all over the body as is the case in fibromyalgia.
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Overwhelming evidence proves the notion that reduction in daily physical activity is a risk factor behind several chronic diseases (Lacombe et al., 2019) and that individuals who are more physically active have a lower risk for the development of chronic pain (Landmark et al., 2011).
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​To date thousands of rare diseases have been described in medical literature and still every day researchers worldwide are working to discover and better understand new unique diseases.
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​“Can you have a look at my back when you visit us tomorrow?” A friend sends me a text on Saturday. My phone rings, it’s my mother calling: “My ankle hurts. I am already unable to walk normally for the whole week now. What do you think it is?”
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Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) is a method of educating patients about the neurophysiology of pain. It aims to re-conceptualize pain from an indicator of damage to an interpretation of input signals by the brain and nervous system.
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