Tag: patient article

Understanding migraine triggers

What is a migraine trigger? Many factors can cause the pain associated with migraine headaches. During a migraine, levels of chemicals in the brain go down, leading to the release of proteins, which can cause blood vessels to swell. The result is severe headache pain. Migraine “triggers” are stimuli that interact with the body and… Read more »

Pain in the wallet: Affording back pain care

Chronic back pain often not only affects your physical health but also your financial health. Medical expenses and lost wages can impact your income and lifestyle and cause more stress and worry than dealing with your health problems. It’s easy to forget this fact when you are focused on immediate medical needs, but the sooner… Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Back in the bedroom: Sex and back pain

The well-known sex expert, “Dr. Ruth” Westheimer, Ed.D., has said, “The most important sex organ lies between the ears”. This fact is so widely accepted that the quote appears on a Food and Drug Administration website! Since the mind and the body both influence how sexuality is felt and expressed, both need to be thought… Read more »

Are they listening? Talking about your pain

According to a thesaurus, complaining is “to express dissatisfaction, pain or resentment, usually tiresomely.” Similar words are “bellyache, fuss, gripe, and whine.” On days when your pain is high, you might feel like complaining. If you’ve had chronic pain for a long time, you know that people in your life can get tired of hearing… Read more »

Your pain goals: Fantasy or reality?

While it would be great to be rid of pain entirely, this may not be possible for people with chronic pain. If pain is unavoidable, it is important to consider what your pain management goals can be. Helpful goals may include: Becoming as comfortable as possible while having pain Getting back to old routines that you… Read more »