Do the Experts Agree on Anything About Chronic Pain?

I found a new-t0-me resource that I believe I’m gonna have to devote a few days to exploring: this blog, “Overcoming Pain,” from Psychology Today . I know, I know – the fact that a chronic pain resource is located within a site devoted to psychology caused me a few moments of hair-pulling and a low-simmering rage but — check it out.

It’s not the same-old “pain is all in your head — by which I mean you’re freakin’ nuts, people” crap.

There’s some good info in there, like this piece on a recently released update to guidelines from (deep breath, ’cause this is a mouthful) the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Chronic Pain Management and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. (Phew.)

Although I should point out that the author of the blog, Dr. Mark Borigini (a board-certified rheumatologist, not a psych-dude), says:

By some measures (such as the proliferation in the marketplaces-both legal and illegal-of prescription pain medications), one could make an argument that chronic pain in these United States is becoming more prevalent, and perhaps even more intransigent; perhaps a manifestation of the chronic dissatisfaction and depression that seems to have become a part of living for so many.

Yeah, I don’t know about that. Personally, I think for most of us the depression comes after the freakin’ pain.

Anyway, the piece itself is worth reading. The guidelines go down the list of usual suspects — NSAIDs, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, etc. — and at least they’re saying pain should be treated pharmacologically — or at least that meds should be considered for chronic pain.

A medical professional group acknowledging that chronic pain is a medical problem and that medication should be considered part of the treatment approach: progress!

2 thoughts on “Do the Experts Agree on Anything About Chronic Pain?

  1. Diana Lee

    Generally speaking I don't have much problem with Psychology Today covering pain issues because I think there is a big role for therapists to play in helping pain patients cope with their situations. I have read some great stuff there, too.

    I definitely agree with you that depression tends to come about as a result of living with the pain and, for some conditions, changes in the brain related to the pain condition. How in the world could we all deal with these difficult situations and not become profoundly depressed?! It's tough stuff.

  2. Vince Mallow

    Uh… Dr. Borigini trumped up his credentials, was fired by the VA Long Beach Health Care System, was never a professor at USC, and has pissed off a lot of people on the PsychToday forums. He referred to people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as “terrorists” and “jihadists.” Then, you have his musings about suicide where Psychology Today wound up having to delete the article, and when he started attacking the editors in a subsequent post about suicide and made further offensive comments to the families of people who committed suicide, someone started exposing all of his credential lies (with links and contact numbers). Actually, it's kind of funny (in a sad kind of way) to see how he wound up being exposed and humiliated. Needless to say, I highly doubt that Dr. Borigini will be a blogger for Psychology Today much longer.


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