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

Chronic Pain and the Risk of Suicide

By Judy Foreman on November 24, 2015 A Nation in Pain
Chronic pain significantly increases the danger.

More Indispensables for Those With Chronic Pain and Illness

My "comfort food" is a cup of decaf coffee with cocoa powder, stevia, and coconut milk in it. (I admit, it’s really a pretend decaf mocha.) Does this sound truly awful to you? That’s why comfort food is a personal indispensable!

Standard Interpretations in Psychotherapy

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on November 22, 2015 Fighting Fear
Psychotherapists who cannot think of something sensible to say sometimes make facile interpretations which do not apply to any particular patient and which are, for the most part, wrong.

What You Should Never Say to Someone Who's Suffering

To me, saying that illness and pain happens 'for a reason' or 'for the best' or that 'there's a plan' steals efficacy. It tells me that there's a divine plan for my son to suffer. And I cannot accept that.

A Rose by Any Other Name: Is All Pain the Same?

Modern medical approaches to chronic pain have not been dramatically successful. Therefore it is generally assumed that chronic pain will never go away, so the best we can do is to cope with it. Scientific advances in understanding the brain reveal that many times the pain is literally "in the brain." It is critical to recognize when the brain is producing pain.

Why Are So Many People Unhappy?

Our brain evolved to scan for danger and we end up with a constant sense of threat until we know how we're creating it. Then you can easily rewire yourself to see the world in new ways.

Kids in Pain, Part 1: Chronic vs. Acute Pain

A surprising number of children spend significant amounts of their lives in pain. What is chronic pain?

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation and Pain Relief

This post offers a comprehensive overview of the latest scientific findings on how mindfulness meditation can reduce social and physical pain at a neurobiological level.

Butts, But, and Buttes: The Bottom Line

By Vance Z. Johnson M.D. on November 09, 2015 What Hurts?
Productivity, efficiency, and goals are not words that resonate with our biologic imperative. But butt, does.

10 Indispensables for Those with Chronic Pain and Illness

I know the joy of hearing the actual voice of a loved one. That said, email is the principal way I communicate with people...

7 Ways to Relieve Chronic Pain

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on November 06, 2015 Urban Survival
Here are seven strategies to help you deal with chronic pain.

Blowing the Bugles for Buccal Buprenorphine

By Mark Borigini M.D. on October 31, 2015 Overcoming Pain
Belbuca. It is indicated for the treatment of chronic pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment, in the patient for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

The Heartful Way, Part 2

This post explores how heartfulness can also be internal (intra-personal) and will relay tips for practicing it and the research that supports these ideas.

One Woman’s Suicide Reignites Right-to-Die Debate

Assisted suicide relieves unmanageable suffering for some

Why Have Marijuana Use Disorders Doubled in the Past Decade?

A new study has found that marijuana use and "cannabis use disorders" among adults have doubled in the past decade? What is causing these cannabis-related statistics to skyrocket?

Generic Drugs Live Down to Expectations

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on October 20, 2015 Minding the Body
Generic drugs are the omega dogs of the pharmaceutical world. They don’t get much respect, and that could lead to reduced effectiveness and increased side effects.

Do Long-Acting Opioids Fight Addiction?

Some doctors prescribe long-acting opioids for their patients as an alternative to a large amount of short- or fast-acting painkillers. One reason the drugs were developed was to curb misuse of their fast-acting counterparts, which are more likely to be abused — recreationally or otherwise — and lead to addiction. But the problem is complex.

How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness

By The Book Brigade on October 06, 2015 The Author Speaks
We all get a distorted cultural message about the nature of the human condition. Pain and illness and aging are natural aspects of life, nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone faces health challenges—and self-compassion is a most necessary medicine.

OxyContin for Kids? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

By Dan Mager MSW on October 01, 2015 Some Assembly Required
We know that teenagers are at a higher risk for addiction than adults because of their immature brain development. And we know from significant demonstrated history that even if prescribed with the best of intentions, expanding the availability of opioid pain medications can have unforeseen and tragic consequences.

Whither the Weathering of Wuthering Weather

By Mark Borigini M.D. on September 28, 2015 Overcoming Pain
Autumn has begun, the days are shorter, the leaves taking a more prominent place outside the front door. The thought of winter’s approach crosses the mind; and for some of us, the specter of more musculoskeletal pain begins its yearly haunting. But should we believe in the ghosts of chronic pain?

How to Live Well: A Book Review

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on September 27, 2015 Shyness Is Nice
How to Live Well is "one dose stark reality, one dose practical skills, and one dose humor.”

Why can't Batman beat the Joker?

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on September 26, 2015 Black Belt Brain
Batman exists in a grim reality and a big part of that reality is the physical toll on the human playing the part of superhero. That toll is inflicted repeatedly by the bad guys he faces and none has been front and center for the repeated toll like the Joker. Why is the Joker so hard to beat?

Negative Spiritual Beliefs Can Sabotage Your Well-Being

By Christopher Bergland on September 24, 2015 The Athlete's Way
New research shows that people who believe that a higher power or "God" is punishing them with an illness tend to have significantly poorer health outcomes.

20 Tips for Living Well with Chronic Pain and Illness

Herein, a list of 20 tips to help with the health challenges all us face at one time or another in life.

Opening the Medicine Box in Your Mind

By Beth Darnall PhD on September 22, 2015 Less Pain, Fewer Pills
In this 25 minute YouTube video Dr. Darnall discusses the science of how to "Open the Medicine Box in Your Mind" to control pain and improve wellness! Learn about the latest in pain psychology research, techniques and tips you can use today!

Childhood's End.........of Chronic Pain

By Mark Borigini M.D. on September 20, 2015 Overcoming Pain
Like fibromyalgia in adults, childhood fibromyalgia is a very intensely painful condition, affecting anywhere from 2% to 6% of the population. As it is in adults, it is a chronic pain condition in children. But, instead of medications, the symptoms can be treated with physical and occupational therapy and counseling. Children become well; pain does not become chronic.

It’s Not Your Mother’s Aspirin

By Mark Borigini M.D. on September 17, 2015 Overcoming Pain
Of course, there are concerns surrounding the worried not-so-well: those individuals who live off of chocolate chip cookies, who consider bending over to pick up the morning newspaper their exercise for the day, and who will now think that taking an aspirin a day bestows immortality.

5 Tips for Going Back to School with Chronic Pain

How can you help your child with chronic pain have a positive start to the school year? Check out our 5 tips.

Multitasking + Chronic Pain and Illness = Bad Idea!

I want to share a story about how I recently put my relationship with multitasking to the ultimate test…and failed miserably. As a result, I’ve resolved anew to find ways to cut back on this well-engrained habit.

How Detachment from Childhood Begets Adolescent Boredom

Just because early adolescent boredom is common, doesn't make it okay. Parents need to keep a mindful eye on how long it lasts, how the young person is coping with it, and what they might do to help.