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

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.

The GPS Approach to Chronic Pain

By Mark Borigini M.D. on September 01, 2015 Overcoming Pain
It would seem that chronic pain that is experienced as a noxious physical stimulant, and is often hand-in-hand with symptoms whose origin lie in the emotional and cognitive parts of the human being, is fueled by neural links between the somatosensory part of the brain and those parts that process and express emotional and cognitive brain outputs.

Do Men and Women Experience Chronic Pain Differently?

Experts in the psychology field have long been working to better understand the differences between men and women. John Gray’s bestselling book, Men are from Mars Women are from Venus, remains popular more than 20 years after publication because new generations are still trying to answer questions about the different sexes.

The Imagery Edge

Imagery is one of the key psychological skills for optimal performance. In this story, a tennis player develops images to help cope with post-surgical pain.

Top Ten Health Tips That Have Never Worked for Me

Ever since a seemingly acute viral infection in 2001 turned into a chronic illness, I’ve received dozens and dozens of tips on how to regain my health. This piece is intended to be lighthearted, not meanhearted, which is why I’d be thrilled if someone reading one of these tips can honestly say: “That one helped me!”

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are pediatric psychologists with expertise in treating children and adolescents with chronic pain. This blog is for parents who want to help their child better manage chronic pain.

The Pain Mess

The treatment of chronic pain is a public health disaster

Dying From Pain Relief

That is, when it comes to depression, NSAIDs might not be helpful, their mechanism of action is not yet fully explained, and, really, most would agree that being diagnosed with a heart attack or stroke would most likely not result in less depression in an already depressed individual.

The Role of Physical Therapy in Treating Chronic Pain

I work with a team of experts to deliver an integrated treatment program for those suffering with chronic pain. Our diverse group includes counselors, physicians, nurses, physical therapists and certified personal trainers. We also have staff who specialize in aqua therapy, acupuncture, massage, reflexology, yoga and art therapy.

4 Tips for Dealing with Unsolicited Health Advice

Despite our attempts to be honest with family and friends about not wanting advice, some may continue to give it. This calls for self-protection in the form of self-compassion. We can gently remind ourselves what a burden it is to add to our ongoing pain and illness the work of having to access how to skillfully deal with what others are telling us to do about our health.

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?

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.