Ready for Your Vacation?

Are you planning a vacation and worried about how you will feel away from home? With a little planning, you can make your trip smoother and lower your anxiety. Here are some suggestions to consider when traveling this summer: Plan Ahead Evaluate where you are going...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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....
Sports and Chronic Pain

Sports and Chronic Pain

It is sobering to see any young athlete felled by injury. Friday-night crowds fall silent when a high school football player remains motionless on the field after the pile of players rises. Parents watch anxiously when a pitcher grabs his elbow after an inning 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...
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...
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...
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...
Don’t Let Pain Define You

Don’t Let Pain Define You

    Living with severe pain can be a trigger for depression, a sense of loss of who you are and who you will become, and a belief that you can’t manage your pain or your life. It is true that pain often changes people. You may have lost some of the positive...
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...
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...
Food & Pain Quiz

Food & Pain Quiz

Does food affect pain? When an individual is suffering with chronic pain, establishing a nutritionally sound diet can often fall low on the priorities list. But can the foods, spices and drinks we have daily reduce or prevent pain? Test your knowledge. Are 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....
Helping Family Cope with Your Pain

Helping Family Cope with Your Pain

      Your family lives with your pain too. Although they can’t feel what you feel, they suffer from knowing that you suffer. They may feel helpless and lost at times, not knowing how to help or what the future holds. They may struggle with feelings...