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

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

Labels, narratives, identity, and chronic pain

I have been thinking about the language we use with ourselves lately, particularly our self-talk and our labels. I’ve been thinking a lot about the words chronic, pain, and patient in particular. How does continually using, or hearing, these words reinforce our pain? Does being identified as a ‘chronic pain patient’ become an integral part of our identity that then makes it more difficult to change our

Pain: musing on language, motivation, and meaning

I’ve been away from writing for a while because life is happening all around me and I haven’t made the time, but a recent blog post by Dr. Bronnie Lennox Thompson got me thinking (as they usually do!) on a whole lot of topics. Appropriately, her post was titled “Musings on New Learning” and those musings got me onto plenty


Confidence when coming back from injury or while in pain

This post is a sort of intermediary between my last post, where I shared some of my discussion with Simon Roost Kirkegaard, a Danish physiotherapist and awesome human being, which led me to a new understanding of my pain and how my beliefs/fears/expectations about my hip were limiting me in ways I didn’t realize, and my next post, which will be

Changing pain: reaching out to patients, healthcare providers, and pain practitioners

I have had a lot of interactions with folks over the past couple of weeks about the changes that need to take place, and that are taking place, in the treatment and management of chronic pain and I’m ecstatic! I’ve heard amazing stories from people who are successfully managing their pain and truly LIVING their lives. I’ve also heard stories

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


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

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

The power of language in body image

I’ve been talking about language a lot lately, mostly in regards to pain and wellness and such, but it’s important in all aspects of our lives. One such area that I’ve been thinking about and talking about a lot lately is body image. So I figured what the hell, why not write about it, too. ;) Body image is another


How the words we use can limit our ability to heal

We are the story we tell ourselves. I’m not sure where I heard that but it really rung true for me. We are the story we tell ourselves, we are the words we use to describe ourselves, our lives. So why is it that so many of us tell ourselves a negative story? Or a sad story? Or an angry story? Language