Article

Alcohol and chronic pain

People have been using alcohol to help cope with chronic pain for many years. Many people also may use alcohol as a way to manage stress, and chronic pain often can be a significant stressor. Research studies have found that as many as 28% of people with chronic pain use alcohol as a pain management… Read more »

Describing your pain

Receiving good pain treatment can depend in part on how well you can describe your pain to your health care providers. Pain has a language all its own and sometimes people may find it a challenge to clearly describe their pain. One reason that pain can be difficult to describe is because everyone reacts so… Read more »

Pain and music: Dealing with pain to the beat of a different drummer

Sometimes, pain persists in spite of whatever treatment health care providers use to relieve it.  While it has become fairly common to add other treatments like relaxation, meditation, and massage, along with standard medical approaches to pain management, music is a less well known non-medical method for helping relieve pain. Actually, using music as a… Read more »

Gender, pain, and intimacy

We all know the typical “I will fix it” response that many men are prone to take when their female partners talk about being in pain. Adopting a “fix it” approach does make some sense. None of us wants to see our partners suffer, and it is right in line with time-honored theories about pain behavior–… Read more »

Don’t be afraid to discuss money with your health care provider

Money is not a topic that health care providers and patients often discuss.  But health care providers need to know as much as possible about you to plan for your best medical care.  How able you are to afford health care related expenses, without causing a major impact on your life, is important for your… Read more »

Getting control of panicky feelings

Barbara is pleased with how she manages her chronic pain by using medication, exercise, and meditation.  But at times she will have a sudden feeling of panic, causing her heart to race.  When this happens, Barbara struggles to regain control. It’s not unusual for some people who cope with chronic pain, to feel occasional, sudden… Read more »

Using chronic pain as an opportunity for personal growth

Chronic pain is not something you have to experience passively.  Part of taking an active role in coping with your pain is finding a way to use it to learn more about yourself. How do you begin to make sense of what it means to live in pain?   For many people, living with chronic pain… Read more »

Oh, my aching back: Learning about spinal osteoarthritis

For many of us, pain is a big part of the aging process: Our joints may get stiff and achy, and we may have trouble moving around the way we used to. Since the back has joints just like the other bony parts of the body (such as your hips and knees), it’s no surprise that your… Read more »

Laugh for the health of it

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” -Proverbs 17:22 “Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility” -James Thurber “Laughter may be a form of courage” -Linda Ellerbee “If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.” -Bill Cosby What’s funny about pain? If you’re thinking there’s nothing funny about being in pain,… Read more »