Rediscovering Hope

Rediscovering Hope

    IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC PAIN TO REPORT FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION. Signs may include sad mood on most days, loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable, change in weight (gain or loss of 5 percent or more within a month),...
Caregiving with Seasonal Changes

Caregiving with Seasonal Changes

As caregivers and people with pain make the move from winter into spring, health concerns can also be in transition. WINTER CAN BRING A SLOWING DOWN for many people with pain. We spend a lot of time indoors and become less active, and we are in darkness for longer...
Heart Healthy Challenge

Heart Healthy Challenge

PainPathways Magazine Kicks Off a “14-Day Heart Healthy Challenge” in Support of American Heart Month. February is American Heart Month. To bring awareness, PainPathways Magazine is encouraging readers to skip the sugar on Valentine’s Day and show some love by staying...
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...
Puppy in the Puddle

Puppy in the Puddle

  A few days ago it was very hot here in Tampa, very early in the day. For those of you who are familiar with Tampa’s weather, you know it can be extremely humid—none of this dry heat like they have out West. Instead, our air is completely saturated with water...
Mood & Depression

Mood & Depression

  There is a convenience store near my house where I often stop in to buy something to drink when I am out on my walk. (Full disclosure: If you know me then you know my drink of choice is Diet Coke, but I hesitate to share my poor nutrition habit with the world!)...
Loss

Loss

One of the most difficult aspects of chronic pain management is dealing with the losses that may accompany pain. Your roles may have changed. Your role as spouse or partner, friend, worker, mom or dad, brother or sister, athlete may be modified or lost. You may no...
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...
PR: Stay Heart Healthy

PR: Stay Heart Healthy

ASK AN EXPERT: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Cardiology Expert Answers Questions on Chronic Pain & Heart Health, During LIVE Chat, February 25 Show your ❤ some love! Join PainPathways Magazine and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center...
Building a Resilient Spirit

Building a Resilient Spirit

Let it go, let it go, let it go I think John Lennon said it best when he sang that “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” This has certainly been my experience and has taught me a great deal about resiliency. When I was 25 and busy planning my...
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...
Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

    If you have lived with pain for a while, you may have tried many options. Generally, a combination of different treatments is most effective. Have you asked you doctor about physical therapy? People with chronic pain may be afraid that physical therapy...
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...
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...
Pain & Anger

Pain & Anger

  4 WAYS ANGER BRINGS MORE PAIN {1} Research shows that negative emotions such as anger can increase sensitivity to pain, making you feel worse. {2} Anger can increase muscle tension that can increase pain. {3} If you suppress anger and turn it inward, you may...
Don’t Give Up on Goals

Don’t Give Up on Goals

    Life is richer when you can pursue the things that matter, such as love, work, feelings of competence, being part of a caring social network of family and friends, growing as a person.  Chronic pain makes goal pursuit more difficult. Pain can interfere...
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...
Maintaining Fitness

Maintaining Fitness

Maintaining Fitness While Managing Your Pain Transcripts Highlights Dr. Yoder May 28, 2014 Welcome! Thank you for joining us for “Maintaining Fitness While Managing Your Pain.” This chat will be hosted by Jon Yoder, MD, and will cover topics such as: How can exercise...
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”...
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...
Two Types of Coping

Two Types of Coping

    From birth, we are all faced with two basic questions: “What do I want or need?” and “How do I get it?”  Of course, we start out wanting the same kinds of things: to eat, to sleep, to be safe, to sit up, to crawl, to walk… Throughout life, our goals...
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...
Stop Worrying

Stop Worrying

If you have been living with chronic pain, you may have found that you worry about yourself. What if your future is one of loneliness and isolation? What if you can’t get the help you need? What if your relationships suffer? What if your pain gets so bad that you...
Cake

Cake

PainPathways Magazine on Cake. PainPathways hopes the movie Cake will spark conversation about chronic pain and caregiving. If you’ve seen the film we welcome your comments on this page or through Facebook or Twitter. Cake is a 2014 American drama film written...
Living with Pain: Lean into it

Living with Pain: Lean into it

    Most of what I write about in this blog is derived from the science of pain management. But, I also find lessons about coping with pain in daily life. Those lessons often correspond to science-based recommendations. Today I want to talk about something I...
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...
Talking About Chronic Pain

Talking About Chronic Pain

    People with chronic pain often say that their partner, family, friends, co-workers, or boss don’t seem to understand their pain problem or what it is like to live with pain. You may wonder if  others understand the impact of chronic pain on daily life,...
Don’t Let Pain Derail You!

Don’t Let Pain Derail You!

    Your chronic pain problem may have knocked you off course. Your personal, family, work, health, and social goals may have been derailed. You may feel as though you are simply stuck, unable to go forward and incapable of going back to your old life....
Living with Pain: Goals Matter

Living with Pain: Goals Matter

    Chronic pain can make your goals seem unimportant or unreachable.  Your pain may interfere with your social goals, career goals, or family goals.  Personal goals like exercise, hobbies, reading, or learning something new may have fallen by the wayside...
Pain and Anxiety: Rinse It Out

Pain and Anxiety: Rinse It Out

  In spin class, I have frequently heard instructors say  “rinse it out” after a particularly intense bout of cycling. I have always supposed that they are encouraging us to slow down and recover a bit and get rid of anything “toxic” in the muscles before we...
What Are The Barriers To Sex?

What Are The Barriers To Sex?

    Paul Karoly, Aaron Taylor, and I conducted a study of over 2,000 people with different forms of chronic pain from across the United States and found that 63%reported that pain interfered with sexual functioning. Other researchers have found similar...
Improve Your Sleep

Improve Your Sleep

    Sleep plays a crucial role in the daily experience of people with chronic pain.  Of course, research (and probably your own experience) has demonstrated that pain can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. In a study involving people with...
Notice the Positive

Notice the Positive

    It is not uncommon for chronic pain to be linked to depression. For example,  35% of the participants in one study who reported chronic pain were also depressed. Risk of depression was not associated with any particular pain type or site. Pain and...
Rebuilding Intimacy

Rebuilding Intimacy

    One of my first research studies involved examining the significance of the three most important people in one’s life to psychological well being and distress. I asked study participants to identify the most, 2nd most, and 3rd most important people in...
Anger, Pain & Relationships

Anger, Pain & Relationships

    Living with chronic pain can be very frustrating. Not surprisingly, people with chronic pain tend to report greater levels of anger than those without pain. Expressions of anger differ, with some people being more likely to suppress and hide it, turning...
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....
Making a Fresh Start

Making a Fresh Start

    The start of the new year is often a time to reflect on where you have been and where you are headed. You may even have made a resolution or two.  Working towards goals can make a difference in how you feel about living with chronic pain. If you would...