Murray J. McAllister, PsyD
Murray J. McAllister, PsyD, is a pain psychologist and consults to health systems on improving pain. He is the editor and founder of the Institute for Chronic Pain (ICP). The ICP is an educational and public policy think tank. In its mission is to lead the field in making pain management more empirically supported, the ICP provides academic quality information on chronic pain that is approachable to patients and their families.
Mind Reading: How to Cope with Pain Series
No, this post isn't about telepathy. It’s about a common problem faced by people with chronic pain and how to overcome it.
Mind reading defined
The phrase “mind reading” is a piece of technical jargon used in cognitive behavioral therapy and chronic pain rehabilitation programs. It refers to a particular type of thinking in which a person thinks that other people are judging him or her even though the other people might not ever say anything.
CBT and Central Sensitization
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.
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?
How Stigma Prevents Self-Management
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.
ISPI Conference Next Month
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
An Alternative to Opioids for Chronic Pain
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.
Is Degenerative Disc Disease Painful?
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.