Pain and Anxiety: Rinse It Out

Pain and Anxiety: Rinse It Out

In spin class, I have frequently heard instructors say  “rinse it out” after a particularly intense bout of cycling. I have always supposed that they are encouraging us to slow down and recover a bit and get rid of anything “toxic” in the muscles before we start again. The image of rinsing away any past difficulties or toxic … Read more

What Are The Barriers To Sex?

Paul Karoly, Aaron Taylor, and I conducted a study of over 2,000 people with different forms of chronic pain from across the United States and found that 63%reported that pain interfered with sexual functioning. Other researchers have found similar results; some studies show that people with pain may simply give up sex altogether. I have listed some of the barriers to … Read more

That Old Adage About Laughter

You know what they say…..”Laughter is the best medicine”? According to an article with that title on http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm, laughter is that and so much more.  The article states that “More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope.  Even in the … Read more

Improve Your Sleep

Improve Your Sleep

Sleep plays a crucial role in the daily experience of people with chronic pain.  Of course, research (and probably your own experience) has demonstrated that pain can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. In a study involving people with fibromyalgia, Dr. Nancy Hamilton and her colleagues reported a complex set of  findings in which poor sleep had a … Read more

Caregiver Toolbox: Travel

Caregiver Toolbox: Travel

It is hard to imagine what it’s like to live with chronic, severe pain. If you’re a caregiver, or simply know someone in pain, there’s also another challenge; appearances may be deceiving. Many people who suffer from chronic pain may appear well on the outside, making it more difficult to understand the intensity of their … Read more

Managing Gout

Managing Gout

I have a name men dread and loathe to hear; They call me GOUT, a fearsome scourge to men;I bind their feet in sinew-knotting cords, When I have swept unseen into their joints.FROM Lucian (Greek playwright, c. 125-190A.D.) Gout, the most common inflammatory, arthropathy (joint) disease, currently affects over eight million Americans, with the number of cases … Read more

Notice the Positive

It is not uncommon for chronic pain to be linked to depression. For example,  35% of the participants in one study who reported chronic pain were also depressed. Risk of depression was not associated with any particular pain type or site. Pain and depression seem to have a “reciprocal relationship”: they tend to feed upon each other; more pain can … Read more

Rebuilding Intimacy

One of my first research studies involved examining the significance of the three most important people in one’s life to psychological well being and distress. I asked study participants to identify the most, 2nd most, and 3rd most important people in their lives and I asked a series of questions about the involvement of the three most … Read more