Murray J. McAllister, PsyD

Murray J. McAllister, PsyD

Murray J. McAllister, PsyD, is the executive director of the Institute for Chronic Pain (ICP). The ICP is an educational and public policy think tank. Its mission is to lead the field in making pain management more empirically supported. Additionally, the ICP provides Academic quality information on chronic pain that is approachable to patients and their families. Dr. McAllister is also the clinical director of pain services for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (CKRI), part of Allina Health, in Minneapolis, MN. Among other services, CKRI provides chronic pain rehabilitation services on a residential and outpatient basis.

A study published this month in Pain produced what is likely some of the most important research findings this year for the field of chronic pain rehabilitation. The study demonstrated that basic CBT interventions can reduce central sensitization (Salomons, et al., 2014). Countless studies in the past have shown that CBT and CBT-based chronic pain rehabilitation programs are effective in reducing self-reported pain in chronic pain patients.

Jul 18, 2014

Opioid Tolerance

When engaging in long-term opioid management for chronic pain, should healthcare providers discuss with their patients the fact that the medications won’t typically remain effective for the rest of their life? That is to say, should healthcare providers fully review the implications of opioid tolerance prior to beginning long-term opioid management for patients who have chronic pain, but who are neither elderly nor sick with a terminal illness?

We tend to stigmatize pain because we misunderstand its nature. Specifically, we fail to acknowledge the role that the nervous system plays in producing the experience of pain. If we more fully appreciated this role, we would understand that chronic pain is similar to other health conditions that we don’t stigmatize much, such as high hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure) or type II diabetes.

As an educational and public policy think tank, the Institute for Chronic Pain (ICP) brings together thought leaders from around the world to provide information about chronic pain and its treatments. We make every effort to provide academic quality information in ways that are also approachable to patients and their families. We also aim to bring this information to healthcare providers, third-party payers, and public policy analysts.

This year's educational conference by the International Spine & Pain Institute focuses on the nature of pain and evidence-based treatments for pain, including chronic pain. The target audience for the conference is physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. I have no doubt, however, it would be beneficial for most any clinician working in the field of chronic pain management. It will be held in Minneapolis, MN, USA, from June 20-22, 2014.

Author: Murray J. McAllister, PsyD

Date of Last Modification: 5-23-2014

Last month, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on the safety of epidural steroid injections for back and neck pain. Epidural steroid injections, they said, “may result in rare but serious adverse events, including loss of vision, stroke, paralysis, and death.” They advised providers who perform epidural steroid injections and their patients to discuss these risks prior to making the decision to undergo the procedure.

We are pleased to announce that the Institute for Chronic Pain website and blog has obtained Health On the Net Foundation (HONcode) certification. HONcode certification indicates that the reporting of health-related information on our sites complies with the Ethical Code of Conduct of the Health On the Net Foundation. You can find their seal at the footer of our website pages and the sidebar of our blog.

The Health on the Net Foundation is a non-governmental organization that provides certification to health information websites. They are the “oldest and most used ethical and trustworthy code for medical and health related information on the internet.”

Author: Murray J. McAllister, PsyD

Date of last modification: 4-24-2014

It’s an interesting fact about the field of chronic pain management that there is a safe and effective alternative to the use of opioids for chronic pain, but relatively few people know about it. The alternative to opioids is an interdisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation program.

Correlation doesn’t imply causation. It’s a commonly expressed caution in the health sciences. What it means is that two things can tend to go together without necessarily causing each other.

It’s common to be upset when you’ve been told that you have degenerative disc disease. It’s an awful sounding diagnosis. It sounds like you have a disease that is deteriorating your spine. And on top of it all, it doesn’t sound like there’s much you can do about it. The spine, it seems, is inevitably degenerating.

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