Everyone can relate to the experience of being in pain. However, few, if any of us, understand why we have pain. The pervasive public understanding is that pain is the result of injury and it goes when the injury heals. For over 50 years scientists have known this understanding to be overly simplistic and fundamentally incorrect. Unfortunately, public understanding has changed little over that time – a considerable failing of the scientific community. In his talk, drawing on examples from his own research, Professor Ryan will explore contemporary scientific understanding of pain as well as how and why this understanding should be communicated to patients with pain.
Dr Cormac Ryan is Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation at Teesside University. He graduated from the University of Limerick in 2002 with a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science and completed an MSc in Physiotherapy (pre-registration) at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh. He was awarded his PhD from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2008 where he explored the relationship between physical activity and chronic lower back pain. Cormac has published over sixty peer-reviewed journal articles and obtained more the £1M in research funding. Cormac's research interests are primarily in the area of chronic pain, its impact on patients and developing new interventions to help patients better manage the condition.