Healthcare providers may be aware of the presence of yellow flags in a patient’s history, such as a major accident, depression, catastrophization, or prior trauma or abuse (to name a few), but not consider it related to the patient’s clinical presentation of pain. But it is. Prior pain experience shapes pain perception.Read More
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I went from doctor to therapist looking for answers and nobody had them for me. It was devastating to say the least. Normal life had ended on some levels; I was a physically active individual who went from playing beach volleyball to not even being able to wash my own hair some days. I had two therapists, a chiropractor and a back doctor all managing my ‘recovery’ and I wasn’t getting any better, at all.Read More
I thought I could “start fresh,” making a clean break with my pain-riddled life and beginning the pain-free chapter. But my reflection since my pain faded away have taught me that there are no clean breaks. Our lives are fluid, and our experiences color us. So today, I’ll admit that my pain changed me. And I’m working to be OK with that.Read More
If you’re a provider who treats those who hurt, I urge you to stay above the chaos of pain’s wrecking ball. You need to remain logical, focused on the end-goal and the pain science and the sensitivity of the patient’s nervous system. You need to be willing to refer patients to other providers. Be careful not to attempt treatments that are likely to worsen the patient’s suffering, simply because you’ve exhausted all other treatment modalities.Read More
When I stopped seeing my PT regularly, I tried to avoid coming back in for visits. I wanted to feel like I was actually healthy, and not relying so heavily on her help. This sounds silly now, but at the time, I hadn’t gone more than a couple of weeks without PT for years. But after seeing my health through this goofy construct for a few months, I began to understand that a much better goal is a state of “supported independence.”Read More
Others’ judgment and treatment of me transformed my own beliefs about the legitimacy of my illness. I unintentionally invalidated my own body’s experience of pain, and I’d allowed those who chastised me for “taking advantage” to usurp my right to be treated decently outside the confines of my own home. In letting people like this dictate how I would care for myself while enduring unspeakable pain, I somehow lost ownership of my experience.Read More
Whether the holiday itself is a “good pain day” or a “bad pain day,” it’s a “pain day.” (When you have persistent pain, every day is a pain day.) There’s anxiety leading up to that day, worrying about how you’ll feel, and there’s exhaustion after the holiday itself as you recover emotionally (if not physically too).Read More