Measuring Pain

There was a comment on our site that mentioned using a pain log to keep track of one’s pain. The idea is to rate one’s pain daily, weekly or at some other interval in order to see if there is improvement or deterioration over time. This can be very helpful in evaluating a change in […]

Exercise and Pain

In our group sessions we practice various forms of exercise ranging from holding postures to slow, gentle movements and walking. Most people who attend the program, especially newer participants, want to do well and try hard to do the exercises well. Yet, we keep telling everyone not to try too hard and instead stay relaxed […]

A Different Take on Meditation

We do not teach meditation as a spiritual practice and there are no spiritual teachings as part of our pain group sessions. However, meditation and spiritual practice have long been intertwined in many belief systems. It may be useful to look at some of the things said about meditation from a different perspective than ours. […]

Getting Good at Meditation

We spend a lot of time on meditation in our chronic pain group sessions and often talk about the importance of regular practice. It is a core element of our program and we feel it is an essential part of developing skill in the self-management of pain. Most of us find meditation a difficult practice […]

Is Pain Management a Skill?

On the home page of this website we say pain management is a skill.  It’s a strong statement.  Following such a remark a couple of obvious questions include: what do we really mean and how can one acquire this skill? Our pain group sessions are fairly simple. We talk a bit about pain, practice meditation, […]

Good Times, Bad Times, Pain Times

A while ago, in one of our sessions, I pointed out that no matter what, we all have good days and bad.  Some days the pain is so bad that getting out of bed is the biggest challenge you may want to face. No matter what you do, take extra medications or meditate, nothing seems […]

Mind or Body – What’s the Difference?

In the research literature on pain and online forums devoted to pain research and treatment, questions about the relationship between mind and body are often raised.  Universities offer degrees in cognitive neurosciences and courses in psychophysiology, underlining our increasing understanding of the mind body connection. Despite this, pain medicine still seems stuck in the notion […]

“They Did a Study” – Research and Pain Treatment

If I try a form of treatment and my pain gets better I’ll probably believe the treatment worked. But if I tell you the treatment worked you have only my word for it. Neither of us know for certain if I got better because of the treatment or if I got better because of other […]

A Fresh Look at Chronic Pain

In my last post I suggested patients might benefit from new ways of studying chronic pain. When I look at what is available in the popular press as well as the scientific literature, it feels like we are caught in a morass of conflicting opinions and research results. Sometimes when trying to make sense of […]

What Pain Isn’t

Pain is not a thing. It is a feeling. Feelings are the result of something. We feel pain when complex processes involving the nervous system, endocrine system and other biological systems are stimulated by trauma and disease. Nevertheless we often talk about pain as a cause even though it is really an effect. We say […]