Tinnitus

Tinnitus

Martin Oleksy’s life changed at a job interview. During the interview, the company’s fire-alarm system sounded. And then again. Then twice more. “Each test pierced my ears harder than the previous time,” says the 46-year-old advertising and marketing executive. “I had...
Paul Christo, MD

Paul Christo, MD

Dr. Paul Christo is a board-certified, Harvard-trained anesthesiologist and Johns Hopkins–trained pain medicine specialist. He’s an associate professor and researcher at Hopkins in the division of pain medicine and department of anesthesiology and critical care...
James Campbell, MD

James Campbell, MD

Vital signs are measurements of the body’s most basic functions and are used to detect or monitor medical problems. Vital signs can be measured in a medical setting or at home. It’s only been in the last decade that PAIN was added as the fifth vital sign, now being...
Prince

Prince

Prince, who died in April at age 57, sang openly about emotional anguish—and about sex, religion, race, and nearly every other challenging topic. But despite that openness in his music, Prince kept his own excruciating pain private. His death from an accidental...
Orofacial Pain

Orofacial Pain

One of the most recognizable paintings in the Western world is Edvard Munch’s The Scream. The subject of the piece, the screaming man, is pictured with his mouth wide open and his hands clasped against the sides of his face. For anyone who’s ever experienced chronic...
Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy

The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy worldwide is diabetes. And because the obesity crisis has led to increased rates of diabetes, peripheral neuropathy has become more common as well. In fact, it’s estimated that in the United States alone, around 20...
Rewiring the Brain to Heal

Rewiring the Brain to Heal

Neuroscientists estimate that it can take as little as a tenth of a second to notice a threat—an aggressive face, for example, but much longer to recognize something pleasant. This is compounded because threats are reacted to virtually instantaneously and go straight...
Blacklist Royals

Blacklist Royals

Anyone who has come home at the end of a tough day and relaxed to the sounds of a favorite song or artist knows that music is transformative, powerful. However, for Rob Rufus and his twin, Nat—principals of the punk rock group Blacklist Royals—music has also been the...
Access to Care

Access to Care

When it comes to the challenges of working within the health care system, our family has gotten plenty of experience as we’ve dealt with my wife’s chronic pain: step therapy, delays in the authorization process, medications being moved to the “specialty tier”...
Waging a War on Pain

Waging a War on Pain

Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, can see the silver lining in a black cloud. The program director for the Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management in Washington, DC, often says that war—that most dreadful and deadly of human inventions—can be a...
HF10 Therapy

HF10 Therapy

As anyone with chronic back pain and leg pain knows, response to pain therapies can be as individual as the pain experience itself. That’s why information about new treatment options is critical. HF10TM therapy is a breakthrough treatment recently approved by the FDA...
Fighting War, then Pain

Fighting War, then Pain

Ron’s exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam caused medical issues. To make matters worse, the pain from existing lumbar radiculitis gradually took hold of his foot, leg and lower back. “The pain was excruciating—a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10,” recalls Ron. “It was like fire...
Morgan Barfield

Morgan Barfield

There was a time when Morgan Barfield thought she might never walk again. At the age of 16, she developed CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) following knee surgery—although it took nearly two years and multiple doctors for her to receive an accurate diagnosis. The...
Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia

What do you think of when you think of intense pain? Many women might say childbirth. A veteran who survived injury from an explosive device might describe the related pain as the worst he or she ever experienced. The list goes on. Burn victims, cancer patients and...
Postherpetic Neuralgia

Postherpetic Neuralgia

NO ONE BELIEVED HER, and some implied she was crazy. One doctor even told her to see a psychiatrist. But 22-year-old Amy Shchrader, a respiratory therapist, had enough medical knowledge to realize something was seriously wrong when she awoke one morning feeling as if...
Pain Pumps

Pain Pumps

“The pain went from my mid-back all the way to the toes of both my feet, he recalls. I was in agony. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t do anything. I was basically just inhabiting my bedroom.” Oral and injectable pain medications worked for a while, but eventually the...
Opioid Overview

Opioid Overview

The number of Americans who suffer from chronic pain is staggering. It’s around 50-100 million, says Jeff Gudin, MD, the director of Pain Management and Palliative Care at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey. That’s the equivalent of all the people in...
Caregiver’s Depression

Caregiver’s Depression

The day never seems to end. Your elderly father needs you all the time. He is in constant pain and you are at your wit’s end trying to keep him happy and comfortable. He needs help getting out of bed, getting into and out of the bath and getting dressed. He needs help...

You Are Not Your Pain – Authors

Vidyamala Burch I had just turned twenty-three when I visited my parents’ home in Wellington, New Zealand, for the Christmas holidays. Early on the morning of New Year’s Day I was woken by the sound of a friend’s tapping at my window. He was driving to Auckland, where...
Earthing

Earthing

Think back to your childhood. Imagine the end of the school year is approaching. You are counting down the days until summer, and one of the first things you plan to do is go barefoot—as often as possible. As adults, we may have outgrown the eager anticipation of...
Marcia DelBarone

Marcia DelBarone

Curved Inspirations—How Marcia DelBarone Ran from Back Pain to Become a Marathoner and Author Not every patient chooses to combat pain with intense physical exertion, but that’s just what Marcia DelBarone decided to do after back surgery left her feeling like a puppet...
Compounding Pharmacies

Compounding Pharmacies

A century ago, well before there were chain drugstores on every corner and shelves stocked with manufactured pharmaceuticals, town druggists would create prescriptions based on a list of ingredients provided by a doctor. Today, things may be a lot different, but there...
Water Therapy

Water Therapy

H2O. It makes up most of the Earth’s surface. Our bodies are filled with it and sustained by it. Children, young and old, are drawn to its strength and buoyancy. It’s no surprise that this element, so necessary to our survival, is also a healing aid. Artist Norm “Pete”...
Food & Pain

Food & Pain

Most of us have heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and many of us grew up with mothers telling us to eat our vegetables. Even though we rolled our eyes, increasing evidence suggests that Mom was right about the virtues of fruits and...
Dan Caver

Dan Caver

In my mid-20s, I consulted an orthopedist when my wrists started to feel warm after typing. He recommended ice packs and ibuprofen. In a thick Brooklyn accent, he asked,“You wanna take a couple days offa work?” Those couple of days stretched into months, and then...
Medical Monitoring

Medical Monitoring

If you’re managing chronic pain with medication, you may be wondering why toxicology screens are needed and why you’re asked to participate in them. More than identifying prescription abuse, medical monitoring helps ensure proper medications at correct doses, and...
Phantom Limb Pain

Phantom Limb Pain

Journalist Michael Weisskopf was on assignment in Baghdad for Time magazine’s 2003 “Person of the Year”—the American soldier—when a tragic accident severed his right hand. He still recalls in surreal detail the moment he saw a grenade on the floor of the Humvee he was...
Healing Begins From Within

Healing Begins From Within

Integrative Approach to pain management. Once thought to be on the fringe and/or ineffective, current medical research confirms that an integrative approach to pain management using the techniques below can be effective. Using multiple modalities for treating pain and...
OTC Pain Relievers

OTC Pain Relievers

Pain isn’t always chronic. To help manage acute pain episodes, there are a number of effective over-the-counter pain relievers. Here’s how to select the one that’s right for you. Let’s say you’ve been suffering from significant joint pain for...
Dave Dravecky

Dave Dravecky

When San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky took his place on the mound in Montreal in August 1989, the occasion continued Dravecky’s triumphant return to the world of professional baseball. Just five days earlier, he had rejoined the major leagues following a...
Anger & Caregiving

Anger & Caregiving

For people who suffer from chronic pain, the daily business of life can be daunting. Just getting out of bed or reaching up to open the kitchen cupboard can be excruciating. It can be exhausting to have a conversation or to simply walk across the room. The physical...
Nutrition & Pain

Nutrition & Pain

Nutrition is a critical, yet often overlooked, component of chronic pain management. Food choices—how you nourish your body—and the amount of food consumed can determine how you feel and how your body reacts. Many painful conditions (carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid...
Pain Management Legislation

Pain Management Legislation

In the first part of this series, we talked about the importance of advocacy. Last quarter we focused on how to create a pain awareness event. Now, let’s look at how to make a difference on a broad scale: getting involved in pain management legislation. In the US,...
Pain and Depression

Pain and Depression

Winter can be especially tough for people with chronic pain. Cold, wet weather can aggravate pain. Snow and ice can make socializing and staying active a challenge. Darker days can trigger sadness or even depression. Before depression or other psychiatric conditions...
Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis

WHAT CAUSES SPINAL STENOSIS? Spinal stenosis usually occurs as a person ages. Disks in the back/spine become drier and bones and ligaments of the spine thicken or grow larger and begin to bulge. This can be caused by arthritis or degeneration of the discs. Spinal...
Carrie Ann Inaba

Carrie Ann Inaba

“My animals constantly show me how simple life can be,” Inaba says. “One of my cats, Taz, has health challenges, and I have to feed him his water through a tube. I take him to a specialist and closely watch his quality of life, and I think positive thoughts when I’m...
Natalie Strand, MD

Natalie Strand, MD

Most people never have the chance to experience this much adventure at once, but then again, Natalie Strand, MD—or “Nat” as she is known to millions of television viewers— is not “most people.” This vivacious, attractive and beloved physician recently made history by...
Opioid-induced Constipation

Opioid-induced Constipation

Constipation. It’s not easy on the body, and it’s not easy to talk about, yet it’s an extremely common chronic side effect of opioid pain medications. So while you may be reading this article discreetly, hoping no one finds out about your bathroom blues, know that this...
Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal Cord Stimulation

Waiting for a rock concert to begin, 25-year old NICOLE ADDIS felt fit, happy and excited to be enjoying an evening out after the birth of her daughter two months prior. As the music started, a crowd rushed in behind Addis, pushing her to the floor. “I heard a...
Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd

FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS, NAOMI JUDD HAS BEEN A BELOVED PERSONALITY IN THE COUNTRY MUSIC WORLD. A SIX-TIME GRAMMY-AWARD-WINNING SONGWRITER AND HALF OF THE FAMOUS JUDDS DUO ALONG WITH HER DAUGHTER WYNONNA, THE PETITE MOTHER OF “WY” AND ASHLEY HAS ATTRACTED MILLIONS OF...
Neuromodulation 101

Neuromodulation 101

This article on neuromodulation was provided by the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS). To learn more, please visit: www.neuromodulation.org Used to manage a variety of recalcitrant pain syndromes, neuromodulation encompasses the application of targeted...
Barby Ingle on CRPS

Barby Ingle on CRPS

By definition, cheerleaders are enthusiastic supporters, passionate about their teams and eager to inspire others to action. But when Barby Ingle began battling chronic pain caused by a medical condition, injuries and then complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), she...
Neuromodulation

Neuromodulation

This intro to neuromodulation was provided by the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS). To learn more, please visit: www.neuromodulation.org 1.  Neuromodulation improves the quality of life for patients in pain. The Institute of Medicine has estimated that...
Arthritis Pain Quiz

Arthritis Pain Quiz

Summer is often a season filled with travel and outdoor fun, but painful arthritis can slow down even the most active. More than 50 million Americans of all ages live with arthritis; it’s not just a disease of old age. Read on to learn more about arthritis and how to...
Healthy Caregiving

Healthy Caregiving

Often, so much time is spent addressing the needs of a person in chronic pain that the caregiver can often erode – physically and emotionally. As mentioned in the first part of this three-part series, caregivers must “place the oxygen mask on themselves first”...
Meeting Pain with Mindfulness

Meeting Pain with Mindfulness

People in pain live in a land where those without pain have no frame of reference. Moments of relief can quickly be followed by the fear of pain’s return. Chronic pain often brings mental and emotional suffering that can make it difficult to focus on anything else or...
Brian Vickers

Brian Vickers

It’s a steamy summer afternoon in North Carolina. While racecars roar and whip around the track, NASCAR driver Brian Vickers takes a break to talk about the health scare that sidelined his career in 2010. Today’s qualifying race is important, but to this driver, so is...
Lee Woodruff

Lee Woodruff

It is one of the most compelling stories to come out of the Iraq war, one that millions of television viewers around the world watched unfold on January 29, 2006. On that day, ABC journalist Bob Woodruff was reporting from Baghdad when an IED (improvised explosive...
The Power of Advocacy

The Power of Advocacy

It’s been said that there’s strength in numbers—and in order to create change in the pain community, strength could not be more important. Every voice makes the message a little louder, a little stronger and much harder to ignore. And that’s where...
Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon was five years old when he first got behind the steering wheel, racing on the Cracker Jack Track in Rio Linda, California. Within a year, the six-year old speedster had already won 35 main events and set several track records. Today, Gordon is a four-time...
Pain & Acceptance

Pain & Acceptance

Dr. Rosemary Fish and her associates state that chronic pain acceptance “involves experiencing ongoing pain without attempts to avoid, reduce or otherwise control it … and engaging in everyday activities of value to the individual in the presence of pain, and...
Sports and Pain – Quiz

Sports and Pain – Quiz

Are you suffering from a sports-related injury? Each year, millions of people experience acute pain ranging from muscle cramps to runner’s knee. Take this quiz to see how much you know about sports and pain.   1  At sports practice, you think you’ve pulled a...
PAIN and the POWER of 10%

PAIN and the POWER of 10%

IT’S ALMOST SPRING; HOW’S THE YEAR GOING SO FAR? IF YOU’RE IN PAIN,YOU MAY FIND IT DIFFICULT TO STAY ACTIVE. YET AN IMPORTANT PART OF COPING AND LIVING WITH PAIN IS BEING ABLE TO MOVE AND BE ACTIVE, DESPITE YOUR PAIN. REDUCED ACTIVITY CAN CREATE A VICIOUS CYCLE THAT...
Migraines and Auras

Migraines and Auras

Many of us can cite a special person as the inspiration for our choices and achievements in life. For Sheena Aurora, MD, that person is her mother, Jasbir Kaur. As a young woman in rural 1960’s Punjab, India, Kaur had wanted to be a doctor. But that wasn’t possible,...
Chronic Postsurgical Pain

Chronic Postsurgical Pain

And, depending on the type of surgery, patients can play an important part in determining the duration and level of pain they experience after a procedure. Debi McCutcheon, MD, a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain specialist who completed two pain fellowships at...
Opioid Safety

Opioid Safety

A healthy society is an educated one. With increased car manufacturing regulations and higher driving education standards, there has been a steady decline in motor vehicle deaths over the past decade. By contrast opioid overdoses, many of which can be accidental, are...
Chronic Pain and Art Therapy

Chronic Pain and Art Therapy

PAIN IS A MULTIDIMENSIONAL EXPERIENCE THAT AFFECTS AN INDIVIDUAL’S PHYSIOLOGICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL FUNCTIONING. WHEN PAIN CONTINUES BEYOND THE BODY’S ABILITY TO HEAL AND BECOMES CHRONIC, THE OVERWHELMING STRESS THAT CAN DEVELOP IN EACH OF THESE AREAS OF...
Physician Spotlight: Eric Grigsby, MD

Physician Spotlight: Eric Grigsby, MD

ERIC GRIGSBY, MD, HAS ALWAYS BEEN A RENAISSANCE MAN. AS AN UNDERGRADUATE, THE TENNESSEE-BORN FARMER’S SON PLAYED BASKETBALL WHILE HE RECEIVED AN IVY LEAGUE EDUCATION AT BROWN UNIVERSITY. HE WAS SENIOR CLASS PRESIDENT AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY’S COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, AND...
Paintracking: Sleep On It

Paintracking: Sleep On It

“SLEEP ON IT” IS PRUDENT ADVICE WHEN IT COMES TO IMPORTANT DECISIONS. SLEEP CAN DRAMATICALLY ALTER YOUR PERSPECTIVE AND WELL-BEING. COMMON WISDOM HOLDS THAT AN AVERAGE ADULT REQUIRES APPROXIMATELY EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP EACH NIGHT FOR OPTIMAL FUNCTIONING —SLIGHTLY LESS...
Shingles

Shingles

“It was very uncomfortable to wear a shirt, and between the burning and sharp pain, I was in very bad shape,” Frazee recalls. “The doctor told me that it was shingles and treated me with Valtrex and pain medication. Eight months later, I broke out again with the same...
Arthritis Pain

Arthritis Pain

YOU HAVE ARTHRITIS. YOUR JOINTS ACHE, YOU’RE FATIGUED AND YOU AREN’T SLEEPING WELL. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MAY BE THE LAST THING ON YOUR MIND, YET EXPERTS SAY THAT AVOIDING MOVEMENT CAN ONLY MAKE YOUR ACHES AND PAINS WORSE. WHILE EXERCISE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, TRY THIS...
Travel and the Holidays

Travel and the Holidays

strenuous one day but not again until after a significant rest, or have other requirements that appear inconsistent or confusing to onlookers. In addition, vacations often decrease your independence, making you more vulnerable to others’ desires. An active bunch who...
Managing Gout

Managing Gout

I have a name men dread and loathe to hear; They call me GOUT, a fearsome scourge to men; I bind their feet in sinew-knotting cords, When I have swept unseen into their joints. FROM Lucian (Greek playwright, c. 125-190A.D.) Gout, the most common inflammatory...
The Benefits of Napping

The Benefits of Napping

Does napping make you feel better, more productive or just more tired? Whether you are nodding off for five minutes or an hour, napping can increase your level of alertness, increase your mood, stamina, and even have long term health effects. New research also...
FAQs About Back Pain

FAQs About Back Pain

Back Pain Facts contributed by Laser Spine Institute 1. What can relieve severe back pain? A. Anti-inflammatory medications B. Physical therapy C. Surgical procedures D. All of the above Answer: D One of the best ways to ward off back pain is by adopting and...
Innovations in Pain Treatment

Innovations in Pain Treatment

If you live with chronic pain or take care of someone who does, you know that it’s an everyday battle. And you’re not alone. Each year more than 100 million Americans are affected by chronic pain. Pain is the most common symptom for which patients seek medical...
A Pain-Wrecked Life

A Pain-Wrecked Life

At 21 years of age, Cynthia Toussaint thought she had her future all mapped out. She was an aspiring triple-threat performer, with ballet dancing at the center of her passion. Like many young people, Cynthia never anticipated that anything would get in the way of the...
What is Paintracking?

What is Paintracking?

Part One of a Four-Part Series by Deborah Barrett,  PhD , LCSW WHAT IS PAINTRACKING? Nearly 20 years ago, when I first developed pain, I assumed I needed rest to heal – but instead, my pain worsened with inactivity, until I could barely hold a paper or open a door....
The Latest From Brian Vickers

The Latest From Brian Vickers

Brian Vickers graced the cover of our Fall 2011 issue. Since that time, he’s been quite the busy guy! We finally caught up with him to get an update on his health, racing career and more. PP:  When you first starting having blood clots, you were diagnosed with...
Personal Pathways: Marianne Jordan

Personal Pathways: Marianne Jordan

Marianne Jordan: Back to the Skies after a Spinal Cord Stimulator Giving up favorite activities can be one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with chronic pain. Often, pain and medications have already restricted one’s lifestyle, so when professional or...
Figuring Out Fibromyalgia

Figuring Out Fibromyalgia

There is an old saying that “it takes one to know one,” and when it comes to fibromyalgia patients, no one understands them better than Dr. Ginevra Liptan. As medical director for The Frida Center for Fibromyalgia in Portland, Oregon, Liptan is immersed in the fibro...