Where I’m coming from when I talk about pain..

So where the heck am I coming from? Part of why I write this blog is to bridge the gap between the science of pain and the experience of pain and between clinicians’ and patients’ understanding of pain. I’m at an interesting intersection in the pain world. I have lived with pain, so view pain science through that lens. I try

Stress, allostatic load, homeostasis, attention and pain

On a 4-mile run the other the day I ran my fastest first 2 miles in over 7 1/2 years. My fastest first mile, too. And I did it on asphalt and concrete in heavy sneakers I didn’t buy with the intention of running in. Factors that would have made me avoid running in the first place just 6 months

Psychological: Let’s talk about the P in BioPsychoSocial

Psychological. What do you think when you see that term? Be honest with yourself, what’s going through your head right now? When you think about the word psychological or the phrase ‘psychological factors’, what comes to mind? I ask because I have seen misconceptions abound when it comes to the P word. Misconceptions about the term ‘psychological’ I have seen


Tell me your story: the power of dialogue

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the last few weeks. Thinking about it ever since Peter O’Sullivan asked me to tell him my story when I was a patient demo during his Cognitive Functional Therapy workshop at the San Diego Pain Summit. And every time I think about it, I get teary. It touches something deep within me

Relax! Running, pain and my CFT experience

In the last week I’ve gone on 2 runs. This is a big deal for me! I love running. Running has been one of the things I’ve missed most these last 7 years. I’ve given it a go a few times, and was quite successful last summer (read about it here!), but I started experiencing new pain in my left hip

Posture and movement habits – my CFT experience

I’ve had a bit of a revelation. I actually started this post a year ago but after my recent experience as a patient demo for Peter O’Sullivan at the San Diego Pain Summit, I started to actually understand it all a bit better and see postural and movement habits a bit differently. This will be one in a series where I try to


Trying to get better while having to prove we’re in pain

How do we get better if we have to constantly prove we’re in pain? And does that constant need to prove we’re in pain prevent us from getting better? In recent posts I wrote about the shame I felt after developing chronic pain and how I’ve been working through that shame. They were the hardest posts I’ve ever written, my most vulnerable by far. But

Successful living: redefining living with chronic pain

I would like to make a plea. A plea to stop framing pain as the enemy, a thing to be battled, defeated, beat, eradicated. A thing not to be tolerated, to be vilified and stamped out. Perhaps our emphasis on pain as evil, pain as punishment, pain as suffering is only serving to make pain worse. Perhaps using warlike, military

What’s the definition of success when treating chronic pain?

Yesterday one of my pain heroes, Bronnie Lennox Thompson over at Health Skills, posted an article that really resonated with me called ‘Deciding When to Say When: Pain Cure? Or Pain Managed? I left a pretty lengthy reply on her blog post, two of them, actually, and felt like they contained some thoughts I should share with you all as well about


Nudging Pain: Movement Variability and Expanding our World

In my last post I talked about movement variability and how important it is for folks trying to change their pain, or just live more healthfully and resiliently in general, and in this post, I want to dive into that topic a bit deeper and talk about ways I’ve added more movement variability into my own life. This is part of

Expanding our world and our movement repertoire when we have pain: Part 1

When we have chronic pain our world can become very, very small and when our world becomes very, very small, it becomes less populated, less interesting, less motivating, less engaging, less enjoyable…just less. And when our world becomes so very small, our movement becomes small too. Our movement becomes stifled, guarded, restricted, limited…less. We may not move much or as much as we used


The dis-ease of busyness and benefits of easing up a bit

Lately I’ve been feeling really busy, not productive, not engaged, just busy, like there’s always something to be done or somewhere to go, a general sort of buzz of busyness. I don’t like it. It makes me feel anxious and ill at ease. I don’t think it’s good for me, or for any of us, to be in that constant

Acceptance: It doesn’t mean giving up or giving in

At some point along the way in writing this blog and trying to figure out this whole chronic pain thing, I went from learning about and understanding more about the science of pain to actually living what I know (well, mostly living what I know, I have my moments). I didn’t really notice it myself, at least not until it was