Understanding Chronic Pain

Be it back pain, headaches, joint pain, or fibromyalgia, chronic pain persists and persists, with no end in sight. Some 30 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain, which is influenced by many factors, including one's emotions and memory.

Recent posts on Chronic Pain

Preserving Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance System

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on August 10, 2017 in The New Normal
Prevention is cheaper than the cure.
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No, Mr. President, a Wall Won’t Stop Opioid Overdose Deaths

How does increasing law enforcement to go after international drug cartels serve those who have an opioid abuse problem now? We can help addicts and reunite families, if we act.

Things to Do When You’re Mostly Housebound

I’ve had over sixteen years to adjust to being at home most of the time. Here seven ideas for living a purposeful and fulfilling life even if you’re stuck at home.
smartstock/iStockphoto

Overdosed America

How did the U.S. become a nation involved in a prescription opioid epidemic?

We Can Break Without Shattering

By Sara Gluck, PhD, LCSW on August 06, 2017 in Do Your Own Think
Have you been trying to block out those feelings of hurt, regret, betrayal or heartbreak? Gritting your teeth and embracing the pain can actually be the first step to healing.
Nancy Darling

When Kids Hurt: Chronic vs. Acute Pain

By Nancy Darling Ph.D. on August 02, 2017 in Thinking About Kids
Treating chronic pain the way we treat pain from an injury makes it harder to heal and more likely that our pain will increase over time.

In Pain? Five Simple, Effective Things You Can Do Right Now

Struggling with chronic pain? It's linked to increased levels of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Here are five simple, low-cost therapies can help you start feeling better.

Popsicles—Not Pills

By Mark Borigini M.D. on July 31, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
There may be other applications, for other types of chronic pain, in the not-too-distant future.

“Dr. Google,” Friend or Foe?

Here are a few of experiences I’ve had with Dr. Google, first as friend, then as foe. I hope they serve as a guide to using Google wisely. It’s not easy to do, that’s for sure.

John Sarno, M.D., An American Hero

The medical model has failed millions of people with chronic pain. John Sarno understood how the brain creates pain through stress and emotions. By David Hanscom, M.D.

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Provide Comfort

When someone suffers physical or emotional pain, sadness, disappointment, anxiety or fear or frustration, bringing them comfort can illustrate love made useful.

Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain

By Mark Borigini M.D. on July 01, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
Now, when did you hear that rumor about the next clearance sale at Lemonlulu?

Turning Negatives into Positives When You're Chronically Ill

I thought it would be constructive to take what I tend to think of as the negatives about chronic pain and illness and see if I could turn them into positives.
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Hypnotherapy and Its Benefits for Autoimmune Disease

How you too can manage pain without medication and use hypnotherapy to manage many Autoimmune Disease symptoms.

ADHD and Opioid Addiction

ADHD and substance abuse are commonly co-occurring disorders. Let's look into the correlation vs. causation.

What Happens When Partners Fight Chronic Pain Together?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 19, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
When one partner battles chronic pain, both partners suffer. A new treatment program offers hope—and lessons that can strengthen any relationship.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Striking Story

Julie Rehmeyer’s book is an excellent read even if you have no interest in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She is a great writer, so the book stands on its own as a page-turning memoir.

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

By Mark Borigini M.D. on May 31, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
At the American Pain Society Annual Meeting, transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) once again was discussed as a non-drug option for the treatment of chronic pain.

The Film "All the Rage" and Psychosomatic Pain

Psychosomatic disorders may appear to be purely physical but they originate in emotions that are unconscious or dissociated from consciousness.

16 Tips from 16 Years Sick

There’s been one constant in my life since I began writing for Psychology Today six years ago: chronic illness. Because 10 + 6 = 16, it’s time for “16 Tips from 16 Years Sick.”

Marijuana: The Newest Invasive Species

By Mark Borigini M.D. on April 30, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
As if cell phones and one-more-Corona were not enough to keep those of us who do value our lives off the highways, now we all must contend with a large population driving stoned.

A Practice to Help You Handle Life's Difficulties with Grace

In this piece, I want to share a practice I’ve been using for a couple of years. It’s simple, really. I intentionally start a sentence by saying to myself “It’s okay if…”

Thoughts About Opioid Addiction

Taking a look at the thinking processes underlying opioid addiction.

Why Do Dopamine Levels Fluctuate During Migraines?

New research examines fluctuations in dopamine levels in those experiencing migraines. This research could help improve our understanding of dopamine-based treatment.

Learning to Live With Pain

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 05, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Are there effective ways for people to deal with chronic pain? A new research study examines how resilient pain patients can truly be in coping with their symptoms.

When Our Chronically Ill Bodies Say “Rest,” Why Don't We?

Most people who are chronically ill (which includes chronic pain) benefit from scheduling at least one rest period into their day because it helps keep symptoms from flaring.

No Walking Away from the Pain of Depression

By Mark Borigini M.D. on March 30, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
Despite the impact of depressive symptoms on the experience of OA knee pain, the condition is not recognized by adequate numbers of rheumatologists and orthopedists.

Top "Turning Straw Into Gold" Pieces from the Past 6 Years

I always celebrate my anniversary of writing for Psychology Today with a post that offers some of my past pieces for reading.

Physical Activity May Be a Drug-Free Elixir for Chronic Pain

Lower levels of sedentary behavior and higher levels of physical activity may be critical for maintaining effective endogenous pain inhibitory function, according to a new study.

Top 10 Reasons Chronic Illness Can Make Me Want to Scream!

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on February 28, 2017 in Turning Straw Into Gold
I’m trying to ride the waves of disappointment and frustration with quiet patience. That said, I have days when I want to scream, "Enough is enough!"