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 [...]
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.
I was honored when Stephen Kiesling, the editor of Spirituality & Health, asked me to contribute content on addressing chronic pain with psychological strategies for the magazine. I ended up having a lot to say, and compiled it into a 5-page feature for the Jan/Feb 2018 issue! In the feature I describe the role of psychology in the experience and treatment of pain, and most importantly -- how pain can serve as a useful teacher that guides [...]
Dr. Emma Seppälä and I were pleased to publish in Time Health "3 Science-backed Ways to Relieve Pain and Stress"! We focus on natural, empowering relief techniques that can help you feel better. Stress and pain are inevitable parts of life. As many as 1 in 3 individuals lives with ongoing pain, and everyone is likely to experience it at some point in their life. While you cannot always control what happens to you, you can [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
The Pittsburgh Better Times published this article on pain psychology on May 4! Read it and Learn how to harness the power of pain psychology to retrain your nervous system towards pain relief!
New rankings at Pain Medicine show that less than 2 months after its publication "Pain Psychology: A Global Needs Assessment and National Call to Action" is already in third place in the "Most-Read" rankings of the journal! These positive results underscore broad interest in the topic of pain psychology and its role in the treatment of pain, as well as interest in understanding issues regarding access and barriers to care. Therapists and psychologists in the U.S. need access to [...]
You may wonder what role psychology plays in the field of medicine, and pain medicine in particular. In fact, psychologists have much to offer. This article provides a partial list of the hows and whys.