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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can transcend the purely physical cause that set it in motion and turn into a crisis that envelopes the entire person. Learn more about how to manage it without letting it manage you.

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Brain & Pain

The brain is a very dynamic organ and can play an important role in managing health. Protecting your most valuable resource—your brain— is an important part of a winning pain management plan.

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Lifestyle & Habits

Becoming healthier is a key to helping manage pain.Carefully decide how you spend your time each day and what habits you cultivate. Learn more about the key traits of highly successful chronic pain sufferers.

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Treatments

We see ourselves as machines: If a part is broken, we fix it. Chronic pain doesn't follow this recipe. Standard medical treatments can certainly help, but if you are not careful, they can also stand in the way of progress.

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Where Chronic Pain Hurts the Most

As a doctor who sees firsthand the damage that chronic pain creates in people’s lives, I believe improving how we treat pain is the single most important public health challenge that we face – but not because of the opioid crisis or the $ 600 billion spent each year on treating pain and lost productivity. From my perspective, chronic pain’s most devastating effect, hidden just below the surface of all the tragic stories, is its impact on our most essential core need – love.

Along with food, water, and oxygen, our most basic human necessity is love. From the moment we’re born, we carry with us an innate need to feel loved. And to feel truly fulfilled in life, we need to be able to express love toward others. Emotions like compassion and empathy are good for both our souls and our health.

But the experience of pain, especially chronic pain, has the potential to tragically strip love from our lives in so many ways. We know that pain can lead to changes in emotional processing centers in our brains, creating mood swings, and a whole host of mood changes including depression, anxiety, panic-attacks, as well as anger and even aggressive behavior. Such alterations can dramatically interfere with our ability to communicate with others, and it disrupts relationships. Pain can quickly lead to social isolation and a desire to avoid being around others. What were once supportive or positive interactions now become negative and confrontational, or they just disappear altogether.

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Featured Experts

  • Sue Hitzmann

    Creator of the MELT Method®

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  • Carla Hernandez

    Nutritional Therapist at Wise Roots Nutrition

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  • Beth Darnall

    Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Pain Medicine at Stanford University

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  • Lauren Bringle

    YogaTX

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  • Dr. Peter Abaci

    Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center: A Prospira Center of Excellence

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