Murray J. McAllister, PsyD
Murray J. McAllister, PsyD, is the editor and founder of the Institute for Chronic Pain (ICP). The ICP is an educational and public policy think tank. Its mission is to lead the field in making pain management more empirically supported. Additionally, the ICP provides Academic quality information on chronic pain that is approachable to patients and their families. Dr. McAllister is also the clinical director of pain services for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (CKRI), part of Allina Health, in Minneapolis, MN. Among other services, CKRI provides chronic pain rehabilitation services on a residential and outpatient basis.
What is nerve pain?
Nerve pain is a catchall phrase that is used to refer to a loosely associated group of pain disorders. It’s somewhat of a curious use of the phrase because, in a sense, all pain is nerve pain. Pain would not occur without nerves and the nervous system. No matter what the cause of pain, messages related to the cause are nerve impulses that travel along a system of nerves in the body, including the spinal cord and brain. So, again, in a sense, all pain is nerve pain. Nonetheless, the phrase ‘nerve pain’ is used to refer to a group of pain disorders that have some loosely associated features.
What is knee pain?
Knee pain is a common. Sometimes, it occurs acutely, such as when someone falls and tears a ligament. Other times, its onset is slow, due to strain on muscles or ligaments from repetitive motion. It can also come and go, such as when people have bursitis. Sometimes, however, it lasts longer and can become chronic. In most cases of chronic knee pain, it is due to osteoarthritis.
What is chronic hip pain?
Hip pain is common, particularly as people grow older. Sometimes, it occurs in an acute manner, such as when someone falls and has a hip fracture. Other times, it comes and goes, such as when people have bursitis. Sometimes, it lasts longer and can become chronic.
What is headache?
Headache is a condition marked by pain in the head. There are multiple kinds of headache: tension headache; migraine; cluster; trigeminal neuralgia; and rebound headache.
What is foot and leg pain?
Pain in the feet or legs is common. It can be caused by a number of different conditions. The most common conditions that cause pain in the feet and/or legs are the following:
What is fibromyalgia syndrome?
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common widespread pain condition. It occurs in about 3.4% of women and 0.5% of men.1 It has a typical set of symptoms:
What is facial pain?
Facial pain is a catchall term for any type of pain in the face. Facial pain can be either acute or chronic. Acute pain is pain that lasts less than six months. Acute pain usually resolves either on its own or with treatment. Examples are sinusitis, infections of the mouth or gums, or injuries to the face, such as a black eye or broken nose. Chronic facial pain is pain that either lasts continuously for over six months or occurs on a fluctuating basis over a period of six months or longer. Examples are trigeminal neuralgia and temporomandibular joint disorder.
What is degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common diagnoses for people with back pain. The diagnosis is often alarming to patients. It sounds terrible. It sounds like they have a disease that is deteriorating the discs in their spine. It also sounds like it’s inevitably going to get worse. These reactions to the diagnosis are common.
What is conversion disorder?
A conversion disorder is a nerve-related condition that is due to psychological stress or trauma. While not fully understood, the symptoms develop in response to stress or trauma that lead to intolerable conflict. The psychological cause may occur in one instance or on a repetitive basis prior to onset of symptoms. Onset of this type of nerve-related symptom can occur immediately after the stressor or trauma, or it can occur after a delay of many years.
What is chronic back pain?
Back pain affects most everyone at some point. At any given time, 25% of the population will have had low back pain in the previous three months. It is one of the most common reasons for medical visits.1, 2 Fortunately, the vast majority of cases of new back pain will resolve within a few weeks to months.3
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