Article

When you’ve had ENOUGH: Pain that won’t let go

Have you ever felt like Howard Beale in the 1976 movie Network? When Howard decided that he couldn’t take any more frustration and emotional pain in his life, he threw open a window and yelled (to paraphrase): I’m MAD and I’m not going to take it anymore!! By today’s standards, yelling from a window is pretty tame –… Read more »

When your brain helps the pain: Cognitive therapy in action

As they say, the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. But what about pain? We all have that, too – although some feel it more than others. And some people with chronic pain conditions have a 24/7 pain problem that can be ruthless. How do they handle it? Medication isn’t the only answer: A person’s… Read more »

When pain doesn’t let you sleep

Sarah waited until midnight before she turned off the TV, and then she slowly walked down the hallway to her bedroom. Why go to bed any earlier, she thought, when I won’t have a good night’s sleep anyway? With each step, Sarah tried to ignore the pain shooting through her feet. It felt like she was walking… Read more »

Sharing stories: Understanding our differences

Have you ever felt like there were invisible barriers between you and your health care provider?  Dealing with chronic pain is difficult enough, and it gets even harder when you feel like your provider doesn’t understand you.  In an ideal world, everyone understands each other and everyone gets equal treatment, but this is not always… Read more »

Communication: Improve your game

Would you like to improve your communication skills? Effective communication involves both talking and listening. It can be compared to a game of catch in which the words are the ball. This article will try to give you a different way to think about your “communication game.” The pitcher and the catcher If communication is the game… Read more »

Medication agreements: Why don’t you trust me?

Emily, a 45-year-old senior analyst at a major software company, had been suffering with chronic back pain for months. She tried rest and mild exercise, but nothing was helping. Her longtime health care provider suggested adding a trial prescription opioid (narcotic) pain medication to help her better manage the pain. Emily was shocked when he… Read more »

The emergency department: A last resort?

Lisa had been dealing with chronic pain for years, but her medication and other treatments usually kept it under good control.  One Sunday, Lisa’s pain began getting much worse. She panicked, thinking that something really bad was happening to her and that the pain would continue to get worse.  When she couldn’t reach her health… Read more »

Your pain medication: Don’t mix and match

When you take prescription pain medication, what happens to it? Some people may think that the medication finds its way to a special “pain medicine” compartment in the body, which then sends it out to where the pain is. This is actually not what happens. When you take medications some of the organs in your body become… Read more »

Control your pain by working with your health care provider

Have you been dealing with chronic pain? If you have, then it might be time to see your health care provider, if for nothing else, just to touch base and communicate. First of all, it’s important to know when pain is chronic. Generally, chronic means that you have had the same pain for at least 3 months… Read more »