Month: July 2008

Making the most of your medical visits

It’s easy to become distracted, nervous, and unable to concentrate or think as clearly as usual during a medical appointment – especially one for a pain problem. Health care providers typically have busy schedules and may often be pressed for time. If you feel pressure during the appointment it may be difficult to stay focused… Read more »

Using biofeedback to manage migraines

Feeling helpless and out of control is one of the side effects of migraine. You do not know when the next headache will strike or how severe it will be. Biofeedback is a treatment process that can give you back some control over both your body and your migraines. Biofeedback sessions teach you to relax… Read more »

Over-the-counter pain relief: Part of your plan?

Pain is familiar to most of us for common reasons, like stubbing a toe or overdoing work in the yard. It often requires no other treatment other than protecting the area from further injury, and possibly, the use of pain medicines that are available without a prescription. These “over-the-counter” (OTC) pain relievers, also called “analgesics,”… Read more »

Caffeine and migraines

When you think of caffeine, do you think only of coffee? If so, you are only partly right! Hidden caffeine lurks in many other foods and drinks, including sodas, chocolate, tea, and even some trendy “vitamin waters” and energy drinks. Caffeine is also found in many over-the-counter pain medications as well as in prescription medications…. Read more »

What’s the worst that could happen?

What is catastrophizing? Have you ever woken up with greater-than-normal back pain and thought, “Oh no! It’s going to be a bad pain day!” Your attention is completely on your physical pain and you can’t possibly get past the experience. Then, your mind goes on a journey of its own. Are the following thoughts familiar?… Read more »

Ways to reduce anxiety when you have chronic pain

Anxiety is a state of uneasiness and distress often about future uncertainties. It can also be a resulting symptom of stress. If you have chronic pain, your body and mind may feel under attack. As a result, you are likely to feel worried or apprehensive about many things. Feeling anxious about your health and your pain is… Read more »

Pain and depression: Break the cycle

It’s common for people with chronic pain to have depression. Depression can worsen and prolong pain. Pain and depression together can take control over a person’s thoughts and feelings with more pain leading to more depression, creating a cycle that is difficult to break. Not everyone with chronic pain is depressed, but about one out… Read more »

Teaming up with family and friends

It takes emotional energy to deal with pain and stay focused on your goals. A person who is well-rested and without work or family stresses, can deal with pain more constructively than someone who is exhausted and working through tough issues. One way to restore emotional energy is to spend time with supportive family members… Read more »

Online support groups: Getting connected

If you have chronic pain or a chronic illness, there are times when you might feel alone, depressed, or misunderstood. Maybe you’ve been accused of being overly dramatic, or “faking it” when you don’t feel well. This can be so upsetting! You know that you’re in pain and/or sick, but no one else seems to… Read more »

Does your health care provider understand your pain?

How can you communicate so that your health care provider really understands your needs? Good communication involves both speaking and listening. Some people are great speakers and poor listeners, while others are great listeners and poor speakers. If people don’t both speak and listen, communication will not be successful. How good communication helps patients Good communication helps… Read more »