International Stakeholder Community of Pain Experts and Leaders Call for an Urgent Action on Forced Opioid Tapering

This week we published in Pain Medicine a letter opposing community-based forced prescription opioid tapering in patients taking long-term prescription opioids. The letter expresses deep concern over a lack of patient protections and evidence to support reductive policies that center on forced opioid tapering, particularly rapidly and to extremely low doses. Indeed, across the U.S. and in other countries, certain prescription policies have moved ahead of the science. Opioid prescribing limitations are being enacted without having clear evidence for [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:24-07:00December 15th, 2018|

My “Nature” Editorial – What’s Needed in Pain Research and Care

I was pleased to be invited by Nature to give my thoughts on what is needed in pain research and care ("To treat pain, study people in all their complexity"). Too often, the person is forgotten while the symptom is treated. Our systems must account for the individual variability in the experience and treatment of pain, and to address the unique needs of each person. Psychology is fundamental to the experience of pain, regardless of the [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:25-07:00May 5th, 2018|

Scientific American: The science of pain relief mindset interventions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX4kIBdPToU I was pleased to be invited by Scientific American to post a blog describing our work on targeted mindset interventions for pain relief and opioid reduction. This work holds promises for dismantling common barriers to pain psychology treatment in outpatients and surgical settings because the interventions are brief, low-cost, and some are even online! Read the blog post here.

2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00April 10th, 2018|

Our new JAMA study on opioid tapering challenges assumptions, holds promise for patients

Chronic pain affects up to one-third of the world population. We recognize that an individual approach to treating pain is needed and that for some patients, prescription opioids are necessary. However, the overemphasis on treating chronic pain with opioids has been associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. With 6.8% of the U.S. population now taking long-term opioids, there is an urgent need to reduce opioids and patient risks and to treat pain better. In my team’s [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00February 19th, 2018|

FREE Webinar on Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Treatment

Please join me and the President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Dr. Steve Stanos, on May 9, 2017, from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM CST, for a lively discussion on reducing opioid use in the treatment of chronic pain. Discussion topics include: The psychology of pain and its role in determining a path to treatment Leading non-opioid treatment modalities to address chronic pain and the latest research on pain catastrophizing The need to support [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:27-07:00May 8th, 2017|

“Scientific American” Feature on Treating Pain without Pills

The opioid crisis is forcing doctors to take different approaches to treating pain. In some cases, patients who have been prescribed opioids for years or decades are being abandoned or forced to quickly taper off opioids -- two poor approaches. Other patients are being steered in new directions that can improve pain and function with lower risks. I was honored to be featured in this Scientific American story (May 2017, Author: Stephani Sutherland, Ph.D.) in which the [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:27-07:00April 22nd, 2017|

Using Psychology to Help People Have Less Pain After Surgery

At the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab, one of our active research studies is focused on how to help prepare people who are heading to surgery. We are equipping them with the information and skills they can use to reduce their own distress and discomfort after surgery. Ideally, this helps people need less pain medication. The program is called "My Surgical Success," and we are testing in women undergoing surgery for breast cancer at Stanford [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:28-07:00December 20th, 2016|

“The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit” – FREE Copy, Enter to Win!

My inspiration for writing this second book was the patients I treat -- and the millions of other people living with pain who are seeking relief. I was also inspired by the legions of healthcare providers who are desperately looking for accessible, low-cost, non-opioid solutions to offer their patients. The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit is an easy-to-read resource that’s chock full of information that patients can put to use immediately. Written at the 8th grade level, it [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:29-07:00July 27th, 2016|

“Less Pain, Fewer Pills” on The Healing Pain Podcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CPUUkYlcy8 I was excited when Dr. Joe Tatta invited me to be on "The Healing Pain Podcast" about psychology and its role in pain management, and symptom and medication reduction. We covered a lot of ground in our hour-long video interview, including what's needed to help patients suffer less and gain control over their experience. I talked about my new book, The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit ©2016 and learned that Dr. Tatta has a book of his [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:29-07:00July 19th, 2016|

Our JAMA Internal Medicine Study of Opioid Risks After Surgery Published Today

Stanford Medicine News Center covers new research led by Dr. Eric Sun from the Stanford Division of Pain Medicine. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, describes the incidence of and risk factors for chronic opioid use among opioid-naïve patients in the postoperative period. The study highlights which patients may be particularly vulnerable. Read the JAMA story here. The Stanford Medicine News Story (author: Tracie White) includes a discussion about how to treat pain differently to minimize risks. I [...]

2018-12-15T10:55:20-07:00July 11th, 2016|