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.
Pain management is a catchall phrase used to describe multiple types of healthcare services for pain. Pain management can include the following types of services:
What is shoulder pain?
Shoulder pain is common. Sometimes, it occurs in an acute manner, such as in a sports injury or when it becomes dislocated. Other times, it comes and goes, such as when people have bursitis. Sometimes, it lasts longer. Tendinitis can continue for some time but can usually be improved with care. In most cases of chronic shoulder pain, it is due to osteoarthritis.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a common pain condition marked by pain, numbness and/or tingling beginning in the buttock and oftentimes extending down the leg, all the way to the foot.
What is reflex sympathetic dystrophy?
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is an uncommon nerve-related pain condition. It can occur in any body part, though it typically occurs in an arm or leg. It has a typical set of signs and symptoms in the affected body part:
What is post-surgical pain?
As the name implies, post-surgical pain is pain that occurs as a result of a surgical procedure. Post-surgical pain is normal when immediately following a surgery. Such pain is usually treated with the use of medications. As patients heal from the surgery, pain typically diminishes. In a surprising number of patients, however, pain continues long after the normal healing process is completed. As such, the pain becomes chronic. Post-surgical pain is typically considered chronic when it continues for longer than six months.
What is piriformis syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle in the buttocks pinches the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is a large muscle on each side of the buttocks. The sciatic nerve is a nerve which starts at the spinal cord in the low back, extends through the piriformis muscle in the buttock, and branches down the back of the leg, all the way to the foot.
What is phantom limb pain?
Phantom limb pain is pain in a limb that has been previously amputated. When people experience phantom limb pain after an amputation, the nervous system continues to function as if the limb is still there. As a result, patients with phantom limb pain continue to feel pain in the limb that in fact is no longer present. In addition to pain, patients can feel other sensations in the missing limb, like tingling, cold or heat.
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Neuropathy is damage to nerves that causes pain, numbness and/or tingling. While technically many conditions are a form of neuropathy, most people tend to think of peripheral neuropathy when using the term neuropathy.
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Neuropathy is damage to nerves that causes pain, numbness and/or tingling. Patients most often describe the pain as a burning type of pain or as if they are persistently walking on a pebble or other sharp item. The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy in the hands or feet is diabetes.
What is it?
Neuropathy is a condition of the nerves that causes pain, numbness and/or tingling. While, technically, many conditions are a form of neuropathy, most people tend to think of peripheral neuropathy when using the term neuropathy.
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