Each year, more than 300 patients with chronic pain take part in a three-week program at the Pain Rehabilitation Center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Their complaints range widely, from specific problems such as intractable lower-back pain to systemic issues such as fibromyalgia. By the time patients enroll, many have tried just about everything to get their chronic pain under control. Half are taking opioids. But in this 40-year-old program, they can't stay on them. Participants must agree to taper off pain medications during their time at Mayo.
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Do you ever wonder if being depressed or anxious could contribute to your chronic pain? Turns out these feelings may be connected. Studies show that 30 to 50 percent of people struggling with chronic pain also have a mood disorder such as depression and anxiety.
Christien was prescribed an opioid pain medication for her chest pain in 2006. At first, it helped relieve the symptoms. But soon, it stopped working. In the time since Christien was first prescribed pain medication, the Oregon Medical Board has advised that taking high-dose opioid medication dramatically increases the risk of death from overdose. During that first visit, Nathan Mason, MD, of Sweet Home Family Medicine, shared his assessment with Christien and her husband.
President Trump declared the country’s opioid crisis a national emergency, saying the epidemic exceeded anything he had seen with other drugs in his lifetime. The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued a preliminary report that described the overdose death toll as “September 11th every three weeks” and urged the president to declare a national emergency.
The causes of chronic pain syndrome are complex, and chronic pain treatment approaches must address both the mind and body.
A Quick Tip video from PainWise, about the body's "guarding" response to pain, and the importance of movement when dealing with chronic pain.
A Quick Tip video from PainWise, about the difference between strengthening and stretching muscles, two ways to potentially help manage chronic pain.
A Quick Tip video from PainWise, showing a simple posture and breathing exercise from a recent PainWise class.
A Quick Tip video from PainWise, about the importance of pacing yourself when dealing with chronic pain.
Those who knew him say that, before addiction destroyed his life, George Elwood Tschaggeny would have been one of the heroes who stood up on the train.