Chronic Pain

Teddy Bear with Bandages
Pain can entirely change our lives. Ongoing pain problems can lead to disabilities like not being able to work, drive, or even maintain a home.   Pain in a dominant hand or arm can make it difficult to button a shirt, comb hair, or carry groceries.   Low back pain can make it hard to sit, stand, bend, tie shoelaces, or just about anything else you can imagine.  
Body in Dark
Pain that starts in one place doesn’t necessarily stay there. Over time, pain can spread, shift, expand, or radiate, from one part of the body to another, making treatment even more challenging.  
Cardio Running on a Treadmill
It can feel like a Catch-22: Everyone is telling you need to exercise, but when you’re in pain, exercising may be the last thing you feel like doing. And unfortunately, the longer you avoid doing it, the harder it can be to get started. Muscles and tendons get weak, stiff, and sore when they aren’t being used, so there can be significant aches and pains when you decide to start moving again. But finding the right exercise program can be an...
“Is there hope?” is a question I hear often. One of my patients struggling with a low back injury recently mentioned that doctors keep telling her that there is no hope. The look on her face told me how upsetting this was for her, and she asked me, “What do you think?”   Before I tell you my answer, I first want to be clear about why both the question and the answer matter.  
As a pain specialist, I’ve learned that one of the most powerful things I can do when I meet a new patient is to provide a sense of validation. Many of my chronic pain patients show up for their first appointment feeling misunderstood, frowned upon, or just not taken seriously. Most feel isolated – on an island with no one else to understand or appreciate what they are going through.  
Right about now there is a good chance that you have been thinking about ways you might “hit the refresh button” on your pain management approach in the coming year. As you’re thinking about what you’d like to change, make sure that whatever goal you’re shooting for is both impactful and sustainable.  
Our experience of pain can have a lot to do with our past – especially when our past includes trauma.
If you are going to see a doctor today, then it is probably because something hurts somewhere in your body. Pain is the number one reason why a patient goes to the doctor, with over half of all doctor visits attributed to either some type of joint problem or to back pain.
As scientists and physicians race to explore new and more effective strategies to treat pain, many are investigating how techno

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