WebMD reports on a new study: Anger Increases Pain in Women. Treatment–in this case CBT–shown to help.
Treatment effects were significant, showing positive differences in pain, fatigue, and functional disability, and in anxiety and negative mood, the researchers say. “Our results demonstrate that offering high-risk [fibromyalgia] patients a treatment tailored to their cognitive behavioral patterns at an early stage after the diagnosis is effective in improving both short- and long-term physical and psychological outcomes,”
An interview I did with L.A.-based mind-body doc, David Schechter, MD, is now up at PsychologyToday.com.
When I saw this patient again a few weeks later, her pain had gone from a nine out of ten to a zero to one out of ten. She was making plans for future vacations, hotel beds, school, and other activities she had long denied herself due to pain–all after only two months.
WebMD: Attitude, Knowledge Can Relieve Back Pain.
“For most patients, psychological factors as well as beliefs, attitudes, and health literacy will also come into play,” he says. “We can tell patients to stay active, for example, but if they don’t believe exercise will help or if they fear activity will make their condition worse, they aren’t going to do it.”
Gotten through The Mindbody Prescription and the other titles listed on this site’s pain page? Here’s another to consider–some like it better than the rest: Get Rid of the Pain in Your Butt Now! by Monte Hueftle.
Hueftle, a TMS Coach and Hypnotherapist, has also put together a full TMS course, The Master Practice, available through his website, RunningPain.com. No word on that yet–let me know how it goes.
From PsychCentral: Cell Phone Therapy for Fibromyalgia. Virtual reality and accelerometers! Background:
Fibromyalgia is a complex and chronic pain syndrome which causes generalized pain and deep exhaustion, among other symptoms. It is a serious public health problem, more usual among adult women, and causes significant negative psychological effects. In fact, 35 percent of affected patients suffer from depression and anxiety.
A TMS/stress illness doc might want to look into which came first…
Added to the resources page here, Chronic Pain Anonymous. New and not huge, you’re more likely to find online or phone meetings than one nearby. From the site:
How do I know if I may benefit from Chronic Pain Anonymous?
If your life is managed around your experience of pain and if you make choices in activities, careers, entertainment, or any other actions depending upon how much pain you are experiencing, than you may just be experiencing chronic pain. If you can answer the following statement with an unequivocal yes:
• I admit that I am powerless over my pain-and my life has become unmanageable.
… then you may benefit from Chronic Pain Anonymous
A new page on the TMS Wiki details various approaches to journaling. They’re up there to help people with chronic pain, but journaling can be a big help to just about anyone. Among the approaches on the page: List Making, Spider Writing, Free Writing, Unsent Letters, and Dialogue.
Several workbooks, which’ll help you through the writing process are listed. Two chronic pain-specific, journaling-heavy titles: Unlearn Your Pain (Dr. Howard Schubiner) and The MindBody Workbook (Dr. David Schechter).
Here’s a quick interview with Dr. Vijay Vad, author of “Stop Pain.” He suggests exercise for chronic pain. Not quite on the stress illness bandwagon, but in its neighborhood:
I have seen a big explosion in chronic back pain and arthritis, and what I realized is that people have very limited self-help options. In the medical system, unfortunately, many health care providers do what they are trained to do. They push you into prescription medications which have side effects or suggest tons of medical procedures.
Headline: Video Games Help Relieve Pain.
“Virtual reality produces a modulating effect that is endogenous, so the analgesic influence is not simply a result of distraction but may also impact how the brain responds to painful stimuli,” said Jeffrey I. Gold, Ph.D.
But what if the pain was distraction in the first place…?
Sometimes chronic pain and illness, wrestled with over months and years, are finally found to be rooted in stress and tension. For some, just considering that idea can help bring relief.
Here’s Dr. David Clarke’s list of common stress-related symptoms, taken from his book, They Can’t Find Anything Wrong!: 7 Keys to Understanding, Treating, and Healing Stress Illness.
- Pain such as headache, back pain, neck pain, chest pain, muscle or joint pain, and abdominal pain
- Abnormal swallowing, digestion, or bowel function including constipation, diarrhea, and bloating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Discomfort in the bladder or during urination.
- Respiratory symptom, including difficulty breathing and cough
- Voice changes
- Heart palpitations
- Pelvic and vaginal irritation, premensrual or menstrual pain
- Abnormal sleeping or eating
- Symptoms related to nerve function such as blurred vision, dizziness, ringing in the ears, itching of the skin, sweating, numbness, or tingling
Sound like you? As with any medical problem, the first step is to talk with your doctor.
For more on the topic try Dr. Clarke’s site, stressillness.com or Dr. David Schechter’s MindBodyMedicine.com. On this site, go to Stress-Related Pain and Illness.