I believe people suffering with chronic pain an coexisting problems including addiction need to be treated by professionals knowledgeable about the obstacles they face and how to overcome them. Please watch m y video below and then read the remainder of my post for information about some of the information you’ll get at my December 10-12 Training—You should Sign Up NOWbefore watching this video as space is limited.
Join me on Saturday November 24, 2015 in Sacramento for an experiential Day ofRelapse Prevention Planning. As you may know many people who are committed to recovery end up becoming dysfunctional in recovery and may even end up drinking or using again despite their best intentions. Knowledge is Power! To avoid a future relapse you must develop certain skills. In this day of relapse prevention planning you will learn how to identify and manage self-defeating ways of thinking that could justify a relapse. Watch my Video Blog Below and then Sign Up Now or read the remainder of the blog to learn more.
Posted on September 11, 2015 By Dr. Steve Grinstead
One of my latest and now most requested experiential workshops is Sefl-Care Planning & Codependency Healing for Healthcare Providers. I am co-presenting this dynamic workshop here in Sacramento on September 26th for 7.5 Continuing Education hours. Please watch my video below and then check out the remainder of this blog for more information.
Posted on September 7, 2015 By Dr. Steve Grinstead
Today’s topic is designed for people who have experienced problems related to living with chronic pain, but who honestly don’t believe—or don’t want to believe—that they are sabotaging a potentially effective pain management plan. If you or someone you know has a problem with effective chronic pain management this can be the first step towards a better way. To hear some of my thoughts about this please watch my Video Blog below and then read the remainder of this post.
Posted on September 4, 2015 By Dr. Steve Grinstead
Since 1984 I have been so excited, honored and privileged to be on my own Spiritual Warrior journey and also helping other people obtain the freedom from suffering I have achieved. Many people I see are in a very hopeless and helpless place and see no way out. Sometimes all it takes is to let them know others have been where they are and have found a way out. Please watch my Video Blog below for more information and then read the remainder of my post to learn more.
I am so excited to be on my new journey to help other people obtain the freedom I have achieved. This coming October I will be offering a series of free Teleseminars introducing The Spiritual Warrior Journey: Life Without Armor. Please watch my Video Blog below for more information and then read the remainder of my post to learn how I survived the worst night of my life.
This past week I have worked with several patients whose main problem was high levels of stress. These high stress levels also intensify their perception of pain and as the pain intensifies their stress increases even more. One of the first interventions I teach people is how to identify and manage their stress. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
This for people who are living with someone—or care for someone—who is suffering with a chronic pain condition and they are having a hard time coping because they’re not sure how to help. Unless someone’s been in your place they have no idea how challenging this can really be. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
I am in a very exciting time in my life. But on June 16, 2015 I turned sixty five and on that day I got my Medicare Card in the mail. It was a profound wake up call. I notice starting to reach from my dysfunctional armor again but this time I then decide to not go there. I do need to figure something else out though. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of my post.
Much of my life’s path is due to a decision I make at five years old and from then to nineteen years old I had built an impressive and progressive suit of armor. Please watch my Video Blog below that picks up where my last post ended and then read the remainder of my post.
When people are undergoing chronic pain management they want help stopping or relieving their pain symptoms and are looking for anything that will stop their suffering—I know as I’ve been in that place. What they may not realize is that some pain medications can actually cause or increase the pain symptoms that they are using the medication to manage—this is called opioid induced hyperalgesia or pain re-bound. That is why it is crucial for people undergoing chronic pain management to educate themselves and learn as much as possible about their chronic pain condition as well as the most effective treatment options. Please watch my Video Blog then read the remainder of my post.
Being at war with your pain is a no-win proposition. I have also lived with chronic pain for a long time and I still remember when I was at war with my pain and what it cost me. I’m grateful for the people on my journey that helped me see the futility of fighting my pain and I’d like to help you if you need to make peace with your pain. Please watch my video below then read the remainder of this post.
People living with chronic pain can sometimes begin a downward spiral when the cascade effect of painful physical symptoms combined with uncomfortable emotion occurs. This is coupled with a negative anticipation effect. People begin to think like a victim; they experience thoughts like “why me” or “poor me” or even “this is must be my punishment.” They start feeling hopeless and helpless, which often leads to grief and depression. Please watch my Video Blog below and then read the remainder of this crucial information.
Yesterday was a very painful day for me. I woke up with a migraine and it kept me down most of the day. I noticed at several different times that I was starting to “suffer” and had to really practice what I teach. Headache pain, especially migraine, can be very challenging to manage effectively. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post to learn how to cope more effectively with headache pain (or other chronic pain conditions).
Depression is one of the common of coexisting disorders for someone living with chronic pain. Unfortunately, the depression can sabotage a chronic pain management plan and chronic pain can intensify depression. Another problem is when the depression doesn’t get identified and treated. Please watch my Video Blog and then check out the brief list of things to do and things to avoid if you or someone you love is living with chronic pain and coexisting depression.
Many of the people I see who are suffering with chronic pain have been living with their condition for many years. Many times these people have been told there is nothing wrong anymore e.g., the surgery was a complete success, the MRI or X-Rays show no problems. And yet the pain continues. In some instances this may be due to a neuroplasticity effect. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
If you don’t know whether or not you have a problem, it can be extremely difficult to find a solution. Have you ever had a situation where you were very enthusiastic and excited about achieving a desirable goal and then got in your own way? I know I have. Please watch my Video Blog Below and then read the remainder of this post.
Some pain disorders require pharmacological (prescription drug) interventions. Other conditions may respond to over-the-counter medications like aspirin or ibuprofen. Still other conditions may need a combination of both. However, some pain disorders can be effectively treated without any chemical interventions at all. Please review my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
Chronic pain affects the whole person. You can generally receive effective medical care for acute pain; however, chronic pain management treatment can be a confusing process of misunderstanding as well as incorrect diagnoses and inadequate treatment plans. Please watch my Video Blog then check out the remainder of this post.
Because you believe that you’re going to hurt, you can activate your physiological pain system just by thinking about doing something that you believe will cause you to hurt. This is called anticipatory pain. I’ve been living with chronic pain for over three decades and I know for me if I’m not careful this anticipatory reaction can lead to increased perception of pain and eventually suffering. Please watch my Video Blog and then check out the remainder of this post.
One trend I’ve seen over the past 30 plus years of working with people with chronic pain is how challenging it can be to describe what they’re going through. I also know this from a position of living with my own chronic pain for the past 32 years. I can still remember early in my pain recovery when I couldn’t find a way to articulate what I was going through. Please watch my Vido Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
An important part of developing an effective pain management plan is obtaining an accurate understanding of what effective pain management really means. Please watch My Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
With so much attention to all the news about prescription drug problems one serious problem has gone unnoticed. For example a lot has been printed about the danger of OxyContin and how it kills people—however; I have not seen one report that anyone died who was taking OxyContin as prescribed. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
When I was growing up I can remember my grandparents who were in their sixties and I thought I hope I never get that old. As most children do, they look at older adults and think they’re ancient. In fact in my family and social circle—which was primarily blue-collar hard labor working class—most people did age fast and hard. This was especially true since most of them also drink heavy and smoked like chimneys. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
I believe that of the most common factors in someone sabotaging their chronic management plan is what I call Anticipatory Pain. It can actually lead to someone amplifying their pain symptoms to a point of suffering. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
It has been my experience that in order to solve a problem we must first fully understand not only the problem but also what it takes to move into the solution. When I help my patients develop their chronic pain management plans one of the very first steps is making sure they understand what their pain is all about—what it is trying to tell them. Please watch my Video Blog and then read on to learn all about pain.
After meeting with two different pain patients this week I once again got to see how important the role of diet and nutrition is to more effective chronic pain management. One patient had been experiencing several years of gastrointestinal problems and serious constipation—it is important to note that he was not on opiates so this constipation was diet/food related. Please watch my Video Blog below and then read the remainder of this post.
So why do people end up abusing their pain medication? In my opinion one end of the spectrum is under-treated pain, especially when we’re talking about chronic pain. For some of the chronic pain patients I have worked with, either they or their doctors were too afraid to prescribe opiate medication—opioid-phobia—or they wouldn’t prescribe a high enough dose. Please check out my Video Blog and then read the remainder of my post.
I believe that to develop an effective pain management plan one of the most difficult and crucial, emotional issues that must be resolved is the grief and loss of your health and/or prior level of functioning. Obtaining support to work through a painful grieving process improves your chances of a successful treatment outcome with chronic pain. Please check out my Video Blog below and then read the remainder of my post.
I’m talking about this topic today because I’ve seen too many people not getting the kind of help that they need and deserve. Sometimes it’s because they just don’t know they are having a problem that can be helped. At other times they are limited because of access to appropriate help in their area. And at other times it’s because they are not willing to be active participants in their own pain management process. Please watch my Video Blog below and then read the remainder of this post.
I’ve been living with my own chronic pain for over three decades and there were times in the first few years where I fell into a deep dark place of despair and hopelessness—the chronic pain trance. People living with chronic pain sometimes develop an automatic and unconscious way of coping with chronic pain that I call the chronic pain trance. Please watch my Video Blog below and then read the remainder of this post.
Today I want to discuss active and passive treatment approaches and what some people call nonpharmacological treatment methods or what others might refer to as Holistic interventions. The term nonpharmacological simply means non-medication or non-medical procedures. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
Since I live with chronic pain when I notice my stress levels go up the first thing I need to do instead of overreacting and amplifying my pain is to use a simple five step process—Pause, Relax, Reflect, Decide and Do. The “Decide” and “Do” part is listed below in the seven strategic stress management tools. You can learn more about this process by checking out my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
Today I want to focus on what I call the chronic pain spiral. I know how dangerous this can be and actually have experienced it myself in my journey to freedom from suffering from my chrnic pain. Please watch my Video Blog below then read the remainder of this post.
First of all, I want to emphasize that the information that follows can be used by anyone who wants to avoid prescription medication abuse or addiction problems, not just those already in recovery. Nonetheless, during my work with people since 1984, I have seen far too many relapse because of poor medication management plans. Please watch my Video Blog below and then read the remainder of this post.
Below I’ll give you some simple tips for managing pain flare ups. But first I want to explain what I mean by a pain flare up. If you’re living with chronic pain it’s crucial to learn to learn how to manage your pain flare ups—Sometimes called recurrent acute pain. It is important to determine what your base line of pain is, based on a 1-10 pain scale. For some of you this may be levels 2-3, for others 4-5 and others may even be at 5-6. This is the level of pain you experience pretty much every day. Recurrent episodes are acute pain flare ups that might go as high as a level 7-8 (or higher) on that pain scale. These acute episodes are usually brief—anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or so in most cases.
We often receive inquiries from our website and calls at our office asking how do I know if someone is experiencing difficulty with their pain medication. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
If you’re living with a chronic pain condition like I am; you may have noticed that sometimes you are so fearful about conducting basic tasks of daily living that you become immobilized. It can also manifest with overwhelming anxiety, so much so, that you trigger a phenomenon that actually amplifies your perception of pain. We call this Anticipatory Pain. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
There are many different ways of talking about that part of ourselves that both protect us and sabotages us—sometimes at the same time. Some people call this our psychological defense system. Others call it denial, while still others call it the inner saboteur. Have you ever heard the expression “the committee in your head?” For others it’s the angle or devil on your shoulder and for still others it’s the Zen concept of “monkey mind.” Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
I’ve been working with people living with chronic pain and coexisting problems up to and including addiction since 1984. Today I was thinking about how challenging it can be when I’m teaching other healthcare providers how to implement a system that can be very effective. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post about the importance of keeping it simple.
I’m writing this today to help educate people who are living with a chronic pain condition and are having a hard time coping because they’re not sure what to do to achieve more effective pain management and freedom from suffering. Unless someone’s been in their place they really have no idea how challenging this can really be. As someone who has come through the other side I assure you that there is a way to achieve this freedom from suffering and part of that is understanding more about the different components of chronic pain. Please check out my Video Blog below and then read the remainder of this post.
I’ve been working with people with chronic pain for over three decades and I cannot tell you how frustrating it is for me to hear the negative shaming and blaming statements directed at people who are only trying to live with a debilitating chronic pain condition. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
Many people undergoing chronic pain management have a challenging time finding relief for their condition. Sometimes medication is not enough. That is why most of the latest chronic pain management outcome research is recommending a multidisciplinary team approach for better treatment outcomes. One treatment component that has helped many of my patients over the years is the interventional pain management procedures. Please watch my Video Blog and then read the remainder of this post.
Today I wanted to discuss the Addiction-Free Pain Management® (APM) Stages and Phases of Concurrent Treatment for patients with chronic pain and coexisting addiction. I’m often asked when someone has chronic pain and addiction, which condition do we treat first? Many people think it is one or the other. Please watch my video below and then read the remainder of this post.
Today I want to discuss that in order to achieve the best quality of life and level of functioning, people living with chronic pain must learn as much as they can about the subject of pain and what constitutes effective pain management. We know that pain is a signal that tells us there is damage or something wrong with our system. However, with some chronic pain conditions the system (including the brain) gets altered. The pain system gets turned on and cannot be turned off. I call this the “hijacked” brain or what is often referred to as Neuroplasticity (also called brain plasticity, cortical plasticity or cortical re-mapping). Please watch my video on this topic below and then read the remainder of the post.