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News & Media

Got chronic pain? Just un-learn to live with it…

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


At the recent conference of the Australian Pain Society, I was delighted to see what had come of a very interesting research thread that I had been introduced to a few years ago. It concerns the role of learning circuits in the brain and their contribution to maintaining persistent pain.

Prof Herta Flor is a German...

Geelong patients first in southern hemisphere to trial revolutionary pain relief (Geelong Advertiser)

'Geelong Advertiser' report featuring Dr Diarmuid McCoy, Dr Brett Chandler and Dr Michael Vagg.

Pain Matrix patients first in southern hemisphere to trial revolutionary pain relief

Article by Mandy Squires (Geelong Advertiser)


Four Geelong patients are the first in the southern hemisphere to be treated with a cutting-edge pain management device. Of the four patients to be treated with the promising percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) device at Geelong Private Hospital on Wednesday, two suffered from chronic...

Time to stop abusing the NHMRC for ideological purposes

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


The release today of the long-awaited NHMRC Statement and Advice on Homeopathy is just the latest in a series of pointless and ideologically motivated exercises that this peak scientific body has been tasked to undertake.

We have seen this group of professional scientists sent on wild goose chases after Wind Turbine...

Is the Medical Marijuana debate even worth having?

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


Given the recent thawing in political attitudes in New South Wales and Victoria towards so-called medical marijuana, one could be forgiven for assuming that the medical care of certain individuals is being disadvantaged by the lack of access to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) products.

One of the most frequently cited...

Anaesthetists call for restrictions on drug used in cough medicine (ABC TV)

Report by Madeleine Morris


'7:30' report featuring Dr Michael Vagg.

Drug regulator must put patient safety ahead of Big Pharma profits

Article br Dr Michael Vagg


One of the much-heralded platforms of the Abbott government is its promise to business to reduce red tape and burdensome regulatory obligations. Pharmaceuticals are a multi-billion dollar global industry, so it's not surprising the national drug and device regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), is a key...

Make your New Year's health resolution about prevention. That's where the big gains are

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


At a time of year when we are flooded with advertisements for detox and weight loss products, I've been doing some detoxing of my own. Specifically, a day of fasting and bowel preparation for my colonoscopy tomorrow. At the risk of over sharing, I think it's fair to say I can regard myself as pretty well cleansed right at the...

Good riddance to the GP tax, but what lies ahead for medical research funding?

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


If the news coming out of Canberra tonight is accurate, the Federal Government has finally realised that their GP co-payment (really a tax given the way they intended to implement it) is actually what Rampaging Roy Slaven would call 'a cup of hot fat with a hair in it' as far as the electorate is concerned. It's an...

‘I feel your pain’: measuring the unmeasurable

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


Humans seem to experience pain, whether acute or persistent, in a unique way. As a species, we have evolved from having very simple damage-sensing mechanisms (which we share in many details with molluscs) to develop early warning systems that react not only to the threat of physical harm but to social and emotional harm.


Acupuncture, zombie fish and Humpty Dumpty

Article by Dr Michael Vagg

"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all."


Health Check: how do you choose strong painkillers?

Article by Dr Michael Vagg

Commonly used over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen will usually be strong enough to alleviate common aches and pains. But if you're suffering from acute pain from dental work, minor surgery or migraine headaches, you may need something stronger.

So, how do you choose what's best for you? And what...

Can we make whiplash less of a pain in the neck?

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


Once upon a time, not too long ago, 'whiplash injury' was regarded as a prototypical malingerer's diagnosis. I can even remember an episode of the Brady Bunch where the dad 'proved' the plaintiff in a personal injury case (complete with massive neck collar) was a fraud by chucking his briefcase onto the floor so the faker...

Botox on the PBS shouldn’t be a headache for taxpayers.

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


Imagine if you could get Botox on the PBS!! Expressions would start disappearing off faces all around you, turning Australia into a society of strangely youthful but surprised-looking middle-aged people.

In fact, the treatment with perhaps the most wildly successful brand name in medical history has hopefully begun to...

‘Superfoods’ - another battleground between marketing and common sense

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


Over the previous weekend the morning magazine shows I have on during lazy mornings had 2 glamorous nutritionist types breathlessly discussing the latest 'superfoods' that would be big in 2014.

It's difficult to think of a job description which triggers queasiness in me faster than 'nutritionist'. The title is not a...

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