A leading psychology professor at The University of Texas at Arlington has focused international attention on how a chronic pain patient’s irrational doubts about never getting better can influence both his reactions to pain and even treatment outcomes.
Irrational? When your pain comes from a genetic flaw, it cannot “get better”.
This dismissiveness is typical of doctors who assume your complaints are just normal aches and pains or from a temporary injury.
But what if your genes condemn you to fragility?
I have constant micro injuries due to my faulty connective tissue, which results in a series of small injuries that can accumulate until pain results.
The influence of these irrational beliefs on both patient behavior and chronic pain treatment success is of growing interest to the scientific community.
“We are seeing that patients who tend to have these irrational beliefs are at greater risk of misusing opioid medicines and take longer to return to work when experiencing work disability for acute lower back pain,”
People with more serious pain will use more opioids so, when misuse of opioids is defined as some random milligram threshold, they will be labeled with “substance use disorder”.
can influence both his reactions to pain and even treatment outcomes.
The irrational or maladaptive beliefs that the pain will never get better are clinically known as pain catastrophizing
said Robert J. Gatchel, UTA Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Nancy P. & John G. Penson Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology.
“New research on brain imaging and the genetics of catastrophizing are highlighting the increased complexity of these beliefs and underline the need for a more complete model for pain treatment.”
The genetics of catastrophizing? There is no such thing.
But that doesn’t stop them from using this non-existent idea in their press releases.
And they are working on more attempts to prove that chronic pain is a problem of “wrong thinking”, i.e. catastrophizing:
Additional work in the UTA research laboratories of Dr. Fuchs, Dr. Yuan Bo Peng, and Dr. Qing Lin is partially aimed at exploring the biological mechanisms that might help explain how cognition impacts pain processes.