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

The Painful Truth About Heroin

What is the connection between chronic pain and the heroin epidemic?

Do Parts of How You Are Bother You or Others?

By Dan Mager MSW on June 24, 2015 in Some Assembly Required
Reactions driven by personality challenges are unconscious and automatic, like a reflex. You don’t think about it, it just happens... However, we can learn and develop the skills to respond to other people and situations intentionally with conscious awareness, rather than react on impulse.

What Can I Do About My Aching Back?

Nearly half of older adults report experiencing one episode of back pain in a calendar year. This pain can increase physical and social inactivity and decrease life satisfaction.

Does the Doctor Always Know Best?

In today’s information age, patients have a wealth of resources to turn to for guidance on a variety of medical treatments. An informed patient working with a trusted physician who has experience treating chronic pain syndrome can be a winning formula.

All Pain Is Real

Finding creative and innovative ways to approach the problem of chronic pain.

The Many Faces of Chronic Pain

I’m often asked, “What does a typical patient in the Pain Recovery Program look like?” There is no simple answer to that complex question. Chronic pain syndrome, classified as pain that persists more than 12 weeks, impacts hundreds of thousands of people and each case is complex and unique.

Denial Only Makes Chronic Pain and Illness Worse

It’s better to live within the limits of what I can reasonably do than to pretend things are as I wish they would be.

How Does Yoga Relieve Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. New research shows that yoga can have the opposite effect on the brain as chronic pain.

The Painful Effects of Smoking

Many people who suffer from chronic pain are cigarette smokers. In fact, recent epidemiological and clinical data indicate that the prevalence of smoking among those in pain may be up to twice the rate found in the general population.

How Prescription Pain Meds Hijack Your Brain

In this post, I’d like to explore the science of chronic pain and paint a picture that shows how the brain operates on opiates.

14 Tips from 14 Years Sick

#14: When all else fails, go to bed.

Tips to Avoid Pain Recovery Relapse

I typically use the famous quote from W.L. Bateman, “if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got,” when patients come into treatment after having no success with methods of pain relief.

Pain in the Family

There are approximately 116 million people currently suffering from chronic pain. And if you’ve read the headlines recently, you know that many people with chronic pain are also struggling with opiate dependence. When we think of treatment and intervention, many of us only consider the person in pain. However, family and friends are impacted as well.

Alpha Brain Waves Boost Creativity and Reduce Depression

Neuroscientists have discovered that increasing alpha brain waves through electrical stimulation or mindfulness can boost creativity and minimize depression.

5 Neuroscience Based Ways to Clear Your Mind

This blog post offers five easy ways to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts based on the latest neuroscience.

Redditor to Redditor

Young men are finding new ways to reach out to each other and older generations for advice and mentorship.

Make Meditation a Habit to Improve Your Life

There is no doubt at all that a regular meditation practice improves health in a number of ways, but the caveat is that the practice must be regular.

Using Holistic Medicine to Treat Chronic Pain Syndrome

My colleague Carol Bowman, M.D., staff physician and director of The Pain Recovery Program at Father Martin’s Ashley, discusses the role of holistic medicine when treating patients suffering from chronic pain.

Music Therapy Activities Wiki

Learn more about music therapy, the value of music therapists and how music therapists envision and develop music therapy strategies. MusicTherapyActivities.Wikia.com is an encyclopedic collection of therapeutic music activities, indexed by goal and objective—and it will help you understand more about the range of this dynamic approach to health.

How to Cope with Side-Effects of Medications

Many of us who suffer from chronic pain and illness are on medications with side-effects that, in some cases, can be as difficult to cope with as our initial health problems.

Whatever Happened to Health?

What you don't count often counts most. If the numbers are good, how bad can things be? Pretty bad.

Addiction or Dependency? Does it Matter?

Many of my patients often ask me, “What’s the difference between being addicted to prescription pain medications versus being dependent?” To help shed light on this important topic, I’d like to examine each classification.

When You Don't Have Time for Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Now that spring has sprung, it's a good time to focus on becoming healthier. For many, this may sound like an overwhelming task. But creating small, reasonable goals is the best way to make lifestyle changes.

Four Years Out: My Favorite “Turning Straw Into Gold" Pieces

My personal favorites cover a broad range of subjects and are spread evenly across the four years. I invite you to browse through the list and read (or re-read) those that spark your interest.

The New Adulthood

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in The Prime of Life
The challenge: To lead a life without well-define norms, roles, and expectations.

How OxyContin Was Allowed to Kill so Many

While it is true that OxyContin abuse is decreasing, the epidemic of prescription drug abuse hasn’t gone away.

When It Comes to Pain Treatment, Less Is Often More

By Dan Mager MSW on March 18, 2015 in Some Assembly Required
Pain brings more people into contact with medical professionals than any other presenting problem. According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, it affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, & cancer combined. However, recent research when it comes to chronic pain, more treatment does not equate to better outcomes.

Hustlers Live Better

By Vance Z. Johnson M.D. on March 17, 2015 in What Hurts?
Do you want relief? Pleasure? Peace? You may be hurting your chances. Here are three steps to harness the power of expectation.

How Diet Can Help Alleviate Chronic Pain

My colleague Carol Bowman, M.D., staff physician and director of The Pain Recovery Program at Father Martin’s Ashley, discusses the positive outcomes associated with an anti-inflammatory diet as part of an integrated treatment approach for patients suffering from chronic pain.

Pain Is a Message: How Our Brains Try to Protect Us

All pain is a function of the brain, meaning that it is produced by the brain. Either a physical injury or an emotional problem can activate pain. It's up to us to figure out the message that our brains are sending us.