Twenty some odd years ago, the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the American Pain Society, two large pain-related professional organizations, teamed up to agree upon what it means to have both chronic pain and be addicted to opioid pain medications at the same time.1 They did it because addiction to opioid medications when patients are prescribed them for legitimate health reasons seems different than addiction to other substances like alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, or even illegally obtained opioid medications when not used for pain. The difference involves the phenomena of tolerance, physical dependence, and withdrawal, which in part serve as criteria for the diagnosis of addiction when it comes to all other substances.

With the posting of our new webpage, Opioid Dependency and the Intolerability of Pain, the Institute for Chronic Pain marks the addition of a new category of publications under our Changing Pain banner.

Published in Values

I am nearing the end of a forty-five minute initial evaluation for our interdisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation clinic and my patient is an amiable woman in her late forties from the suburbs. She drove a minivan to the clinic and attends the evaluation while her three children are at school for the day. Her primary care provider had referred her to us because of her chronic and disabling low back pain, which over the years had become progressively worse and more widespread.

We live in an interesting time within the field of pain management. We literally have two competing ways of understanding the nature of pain – what it is and how it works and what to do about it.

Published in Neuromatrix of Pain

There’s a divide between chronic pain experts and their patients that rarely gets crossed. The divide centers on the issue of fear-avoidance of pain. 

Published in Fear Avoidance
Apr 27, 2012

Trauma

What is trauma?

Trauma is the psychological and bodily response to experiencing an overwhelmingly terrible event. Some examples of events that can lead to trauma are the following:

Published in Complications

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