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


Focusing on the whole of us, not just our pain: initial thoughts from the San Diego Pain Summit

This past weekend I attended the first annual San Diego Pain Summit and I can’t even begin to put into a cohesive string of words all that I am thinking, nor can I come close to formulating into a single blog post all that I learned during the course of three days of thought-provoking presentations from a stellar line-up of speakers. On top

I want to tell you a story

The last month in Colorado has been incredible, and incredibly healing for me. The mountains, the crisp air, the river, the trees, and the sky – oh the sky! – a sky that surrounds you and dwarfs you and makes you think differently about the world – the universe – and our place within it. It’s grand. It’s awesome. It’s inspiring.

It’s ok to talk about chronic pain

]After my flare at the end of last year (which I talk about a bit here), and the months of getting through it, I started reading a book on pain called Pain: The Science of Suffering, by Patrick Wall, the guy who literally co-wrote the textbook on pain. I took my time, just recently finishing it, and figured I’d share some of


Sleep: A quick post

Are you getting enough sleep? Do you feel rested in the morning? Energetic? Ready to tackle the day? This time of year things can get busy and good sleep can be one of the first things to suffer in the name of getting shit done or thinking about all the shit that needs to get done or attending holiday parties

Successes and setbacks: Finding balance and direction

These past two months have been a bit of a whirlwind for me, with some pretty awesome successes but also some pretty spirit-crushing setbacks. It can sometimes be hard for me to figure out where the balance is between successes and setbacks and what direction is the best way forward when I feel like I’m taking two steps back for