Category Archives: Chronic Pain

Effects of Social Distancing on Body and Brain

The Effects of Social Distancing on Body and Brain — BrainPost | Easy-to-read summaries of the latest neuroscience publications – Post by Anastasia Sares – June 2020

This virus is a true biopsychosocial disaster – very similar to the impact of chronic pain when we can no longer participate in active social lives or our favorite pursuits – but I don’t see anyone suggesting we are catastrophizing about it.

Humans evolved to be social with one another, and we function best when we have strong relationships and regular social contact.

However, in many cities, half or more of the inhabitants live alone, and in the current COVID-19 pandemic, people are additionally deprived of in-person interactions at work and social gatherings.

It is a good time to remind ourselves of the far-reaching impacts of loneliness and find ways to mitigate it.  Continue reading

hEDS Deficit in Pain Control Mechanisms

hEDS-related Pain May Be Linked to Deficit in Pain Control Mechanisms – by Marta Figueiredo – June 2020

Pain in people with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) likely is the result of an impaired pain suppression system that may lead to widespread pain, a study shows.

Well, that would certainly explain a lot!

contradict a previous theory that EDS-related pain was caused by damage in nerve fibers. Continue reading

Neuropathic Pain & Wind-Up Phenomenon

Managing Difficult Pain Cases: Neuropathic Pain & Wind-Up Phenomenon – WSAVA2013 – VIN – 2013

I was looking for information on the “pain wind-up” phenomenon and found this veterinary paper that explains it well – and without any special fuss about opioids, treating them the same as any other pain-relieving medication. What a refreshing change!

And with animals, there are no “biopsychosocial” factors to blame for increasing pain, so vets take it seriously and don’t just discount it as an attitude problem.

The options for analgesia are ever increasing as our understanding of pain physiology improves.

Yet for humans, there is still little understanding of chronic pain and few new treatments significantly different from the old.  Continue reading

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Pain

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Pain – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic – June 2020

This article contains an excellent list of many descriptive words to help us describe very specific aspects of our pain.

There are many causes and types of pain, and everyone experiences it differently. Effective communication with your doctor is a key piece of the pain management puzzle.

“While most people think pain is all the same, there are actually several different types of pain,” explains pain management specialist Robert Bolash, MD.  

It seems most scientists, researchers, and even doctors assume that chronic pain is some generic entity, and that’s a ridiculous assumption.  Continue reading

The Main Types of Pain

The Main Types of Chronic Pain By Erica Jacques– December 09, 2019

These aren’t actually considered “chronic pain”, which arises from central sensitization, but the article gives a good overview of different kinds of pain from a medical view.

I think it’s useful to “speak the language” when talking to our doctors. Using language and words they are accustomed to can put them more at ease and bridge the inevitable communication gap when trying to explain invisible pain.

I do take issue with their category of “Psychogenic Pain” which leans toward stigmatization and reinforces the popular myth that our inexplicable pain is a mental issue. Continue reading

Strange Dance: Performing Wellness for Others

Chronic pain forces a strange dance: performing wellness for others | Psyche IdeasJude Cook – June 2020

Ten years ago, I was prescribed a non-penicillin antibiotic to clear up a routine urinary tract infection. Part of a broad group known as fluoroquinolones, the pills made me feel as dizzy as if I’d drunk the better part of a bottle of wine.

Momentary loss of motor function down one side, cranial pressure and, when I got to the accident and emergency department, blood pressure high enough to cause an imminent heart attack.

Such frightening side-effects are surprisingly common, yet doctors still prescribe these antibiotics as though they were perfectly safe. Continue reading

“Pain Catastrophizing” Term Correction

Stanford: Rename Pain CatastrophizingMay 2020

The term “catastrophizing” has long been insulting to pain patients because of it’s negative implications. It refers to an undesirable over-reaction, a frantic hysterical response, and an unreasonable lack of reasoning. The term implies that we’re crazy and not to be believed about our pain.

Now, the originators of this derogatory “diagnosis” have finally realized this is an inappropriate term and are looking for a better one. Amazingly, they are interested in our opinion:

Stanford | Rename Pain Catastrophizing

They’ve created this website for a survey to find out what we pain patients think would be better.  Continue reading

Borderline personality disorder among chronic pain patients?

This “study” is so garbled it would be comical if it weren’t insinuating that chronic pain patients are mentally ill.  Notice the uncorrected misspelling of the very first word, which is supposed to be “AAPM”

FAAPM [?] 36th Annual Meeting Scientific Poster Abstracts annualmeeting.painmed.org | #AAPM2020 505 | Psychosocial Borderline personality features among patients with chronic non-cancer pain, barrier versus unexploited targets for effective pain management: a systemic review

Because two pain-oriented medical websites both had fairly demeaning (to pain patients) articles about the implications of this “abstract”, and it was deemed significant enough to be presented at this renowned pain association’s annual meeting, I decided to take a closer look.

It’s a total mess.

Continue reading

Borderline Personality Disorder Common in Pain Patients

Borderline Personality Disorder Common in Chronic Pain Patients – MedScape – by Fran Lowry – Mar 2020

A significant proportion of patients who suffer from chronic pain also have features of borderline personality disorder (BPD), new research shows.

I really don’t know what to think about this because our healthcare system is so strongly biased against chronic pain patients and opioids that I don’t trust most of the research on it these days.

I can’t help but notice that it only says that pain patients “have features of” the disorder, but not that they have it. This is a sly way to make it sound like we all have BPD. Continue reading

Cerebrovascular Risk from Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain May Increase Cardiac and Cerebrovascular Event Risk – Clinical Pain Advisor – by Kwamesha Joseph – May 2020

Individuals with chronic pain may have an increased risk for major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCEs), according to study results published in Pain Medicine.

Outcomes included

  • all-cause mortality,
  • stroke,
  • a need for coronary angioplasty, and
  • occurrence of acute myocardial infarction.

Participants with chronic pain had a higher prevalence of underlying comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, renal diseases, and depression.    Continue reading