The stigma of chronic pain can lead us to persevere and try to push through the pain, only stopping when we cannot carry on. Then the pain flares up and we pay the price! If you have read my blogs or listened to the pain education I provide, you will have heard me suggest that this technique may be good for ‘getting the job done’, and it may be helpful in...
Continue Reading: The benefits of acute stress for people in pain
A recent media report started with a statement paraphrased as follows: “Scientists report that they have developed a way to measure how much pain a person is having by scanning their brains”. The writers went on to say that, when doctors are faced with someone in pain, they have no way to judge its severity other than to ask questions. If you are like me, such statements are worse than nails...
Continue Reading: Brain scans – swimming up a muddy stream to measure pain.
My CT scan report, dated three days ago, concluded the following: “At L4-L5 there is a broad-based posterior disc protrusion centered in the right paracentral region resulting in mild spinal canal stenosis and effacement of the right subarticular recess with probable compression of the descending right L5 nerve root. There is mild right-sided neural foraminal narrowing and minimal right facet arthropathy.” ...
Continue Reading: Investigating Pain
Recently, a colleague asked me a good question – how do I know that pain is a biopsychosocial event? As we talked, it seemed he wanted to know two things: (1) how I can say with such conviction that our brain uses more than the input from our nociceptive systems to produce pain; and (2) wouldn’t this mean that chronic pain is outside the scope of physical therapists, and instead...
Continue Reading: Biopsychosocial
For the past few days I have been teaching at a beautiful yoga centre in the hills just south of San Jose, California. Mount Madonna holds the same peaceful feeling as its sister centre on Salt Spring Island (where I often lead retreats), even though it is much bigger. The natural settings and calm attitudes of the individuals working and living in these centres seem to make it easier to...
Continue Reading: Music from San Jose
I submitted a proposal yesterday for a workshop at the 2013 International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) conference. As you would expect, I am hoping to provide an interactive workshop about yoga and pain. The title of the presentation is “How much pain is okay in Yoga?” In the proposal description I wrote something like this, “…pain, like love – another potentially troublesome human experience – is often misunderstood.” I wrote...
Continue Reading: Pain and Love – potentially troublesome experiences
Students in my therapeutic yoga classes often ‘disappear’ from the class for a while. Some move on to other classes, and some come back when they are ready. I don’t worry when a student hasn’t been to class, but rather hope that they have found a path and a consistent practice that are serving them well. Yet sometimes people are coming to me with significant physical and mental health issues....
Continue Reading: Grief, Yoga and one of the Dark Sides of Pain
It seems that hope may be one of the biggest reasons why we have not advanced pain science, education, research and policy in society, in higher education, and in research. It’s not my intention to point fingers here. Rather, it is to ask those reading to seriously consider the impact of ‘no strong message of hope’ in the area of pain management. When there is no hope for change, doesn’t hope become...
Continue Reading: Hope
I had a goal. However, the outcome I expected was completely changed by pain. This goal was one I worked towards for over three years. During that time, I made sacrifices in order to move towards attaining my goal. I pushed myself to face fears. Then, when I took the final steps towards the goal, I failed to complete it. I feel much happier stating that the goal eluded me. I...
Continue Reading: Consequences of Goal Setting
It’s August 2nd and I am just off the plane into Vancouver, sitting at a coffee shop at the University of British Columbia. This morning I will teach three hours of pain science and physiotherapy pain management to the masters of physical therapy students. This is one of the most pleasant aspects of my work – teaching students. The reality for health professionals is that anything we do not learn in university...
Continue Reading: University of British Columbia Teaching
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Dr. Glenn Wollman
Glenn Wollman MD
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