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A Piece of My Mind
December 4, 2018

Pain Management: Assembling a Tool Kit, Building a Life

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2018;320(21):2201-2202. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17722

The pain was becoming bolder. Not content with my hands and wrists, it invaded my elbows, annexed my back, and sent raids down my legs. It was conniving and multifaceted: dull aches, stabbing and throbbing sensations, and widespread tenderness. I fought back with medication, then physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, stretching, elimination diets, and massage. But the pain grew stronger, while I grew weaker, anxious, and afraid. I was 20 years old (a junior in college) when the pain began, and there was no explanatory pathology. I saw several physicians, whose localized diagnoses (tendinitis, twisted pelvis) could not explain the pain’s origin or why it was spreading. The relentless siege was wearing me down. I despaired for my future.

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    1 Comment for this article
    Wonderful Overview of the Challenges of Managing Chronic Pain
    Randolph Cribbs, MD | Occupational Medicine, Providence Medical Group, Clackamas, OR
    Dr. Boehnke has masterfully encapsulated the lifetime experiences of one who suffers from daily pain. His descriptions and insight into his journey is a priceless tool that I can use as a clinician to help my patients with chronic pain. Best thing of all - my patients can understand every word of his narrative!