Thursday Webcast on Chronic Pain Scheduled

Thursday Webcast on Chronic Pain Scheduled

by Ed Coghlan

Chronic Pain sufferers may get a chance to influence some public health leaders in a webinar scheduled this Thursday.

The Huffington Post and Harvard Public Health are organizing a live webcast called: The Chronic Pain Epidemic: What’s to be Done? It will be held this Thursday, Nov 10 from 12:30 – 1:30pm et.

The panel will feature Cindy Steinberg, of the US Pain Foundation, Josey Briggs from the National Institutes of Health, Anne Louise Oaklander from Massachusetts General Hospital, Vaughan Rees from Harvard Public Health and David Freeman from Huffington Post.

To register, click here.

Steinberg, who is the National Director of Policy & Advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, is pleased the webinar is being held.

“I applaud the Forum at the Harvard University School of Public Health for convening this discussion about chronic pain - a disease that affects 100 million Americans and disables approximately 10 million of them, yet is largely misunderstood by policymakers, the media and the public-at-large.  The panel will discuss the challenges facing those with chronic pain and possible policy solutions and the audience will be encouraged to participate by submitting questions.  I hope people affected by pain will tune in, participate and make your voices heard.”

Another interesting voice is Dr. Oaklander, who is an MD and a PHD, who is a neurologist/neuroscientist working in patient care, research, and education and directs a laboratory that studies causes of neuropathic pain.  Her goal is to help bring these syndromes into the medical mainstream to improve diagnosis, and thus treatment.

This webinar represents that something many chronic pain patients and advocates have been asking for—a real conversation about chronic pain. A rally held last month in Washington D.C. attracted many chronic pain sufferers.

About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which is defined as pain that lasts longer than six months. Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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The perspective of the pain patient was so eloquently described by Cindy Steinberg. Thank you!
The emphasis on exercise is a great idea, but it did remind me of old workman’s comp “work hardening” programs back in the early 90’s, complete with Behavioral Counseling and anti-depressants . This is nothing new! Issues such as Ehler-Danlos, where unknown back then, and these programs left many with worse permanent injuries, with no where to turn because it was workman’s comp! Programs such as this need to be individualized , as “one size fit’s all” is a prescription for disaster for those who are different. Same story with medications!! Individualized medicine is being over-looked entirely!
Programs such as these are heading us backwards, not forward!
Also, several points made by Vaughan Rees need to be corrected: To state that the US uses 99 percent of the world supply of hydrocodone is correct, but was completely out of context as the US is the primary country that uses hydrocodone. We are one of only several countries in the world that reports it’s use of opioids. In Europe, dihydrocodeine is the main pain reliever used, so of course the US numbers would look shocking, as I’m sure was his intention. I expect better of “Harvard Experts”. To use statistics like this during a forum is irresponsible. Also, the statements pertaining to “dependency” vs “addiction” (which dependency was the main talking point, no differentiation of the the difference anymore between the two very different situations) during the question and answer period were faulty at best, he suggested that to determine dependency , take a person off of their medications and see what there reaction is, to determine dependency. Really? We wouldn’t do this to a diabetic, someone on thyroid replacement medications, etc…or a person taking anti-depressants or blood pressure medications. Of course they would have a reaction, as would a person on long-term opioids, but this is not indicative of an addiction issue.. To mix up dependency with addiction is irresponsible and creates much bias toward the person with chronic pain who is taking opioids to increase function, and is responsible with their medications, because of severe pain issues. To suggest such irresponsible treatment by a non-practicing “lecturer” is shocking at best, and dangerous, and Vaughan Rees, who isn’t a doctor, has basically called everyone who is taking opioid medications an addict.
Next time let’s have a conference on the real epidemic of Pain, the addiction “experts” have had enough press.

Judy J

First of all, thank you Paul for the link to YouTube.
Just watched this forum….found it most interesting.
CHEERS to Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy & Advocacy, US Pain Foundation.
She really knows what she’s talking about and understands chronic pain.
Jeers to Linda Porter, Director, Office of Pain Policy, NIH…..who appeared to not really understand the difference between acute pain (which does get better with things like physical therapy, massage, etc) and CHRONIC PAIN (which does not)…….


Have you ever heard Keep It Simple Stupid. That’s where we are at with help for our Chronic pain. Everyone sees a way to make a buck on our pain. It is crazy. Look at all these doctors stepping forward with their plans all different ways of money making plans. We the people begged for doctors to help us with our pain they refuses to see us. Now they see a way to put dollars in their pockets. I’m so sick of the medical community. Uncaring bunch of nonhumans. You are worthless to the people of this country I’m ashamed of you.


A replay is available on YouTube:


Chronic pain is complex, especially when other diagnoses and government practices are not taken into consideration. The Art & War of Oppression, Terrorism, and Torture need to be part of this discussion as Power Over, negation of what’s right for the individual and the Corruption of basic Human & Civil rights has always been a driving force in perpetuating crimes against humanity, Given the history from abuse, this should be the first in consideration.


I wish this could of been recorded. I would love to hear it.

Mary Ellen O'Brien

Except for the lady with pain, this rehash of the Federal and National multi modalities is Mental Masturbation.
They pour money into trials of things I went through in the 1990’s.
It was interesting to hear of the small nerve fibers and cysts, but there was no correlation to treatment and actual functioning.
We are all on pain contracts.
We have our meds locked up.
We’ve been through it and do all that works.
Here is my idea for a trial:
Give the multimodal ladies and the Australian man and moderator a good 24 hour pain machinism that in enplanted and set them loose to find how their suppositions work! Set it at 50% of our pain. Ready, set, go!
Let their own CMS and NIM counsel them and go to therapy and yoga and no opioids. Make sure their family calls them lazy and faking and the. Doctors, too. No fair mentioning the pain device and block their access to specialists and people in the know. Give it a month. Make sure they go to a nationally funded health clinic first. Then reform this panel and report on yoga and mindfulness. Now that’s what I call a trial!

Sandy Miller

What if you have had Scoliosis from T3 To L5-S1, heart problems and a condition called “Thalamic Pain Syndrome as a result of a hemorrhagic stroke, it is hell, horrific pain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It took me 5 years or so to get medication to finally give me some relief, now it is being taken away from me. My PCP has taken me off my Xanax cold turkey and I’ve been on it for 30 years and have never, ever abused it. I had to changed PCP due to insurance and this guy does not know me. I don’t even have my meds like antidepressants, refilled every month. I take Neurontin because the entire left side of my face has different sensations, I can’t sleep and I never take as many Xanax as I am prescribed. Why in the world don’t they leave us alone, these doctors making these decisions do not know us. I’m 70 years old, i don’t think I will get addicted now after all these years. TRhis is ridiculous, I can hardly get out of bed, and I go up and down 13 stairs aday and walk for about 10 minutes, thats all I can do with this “Thalamic Pain SYndrome. I hope nobody ever has to go thru what I do with this condition. Doctors say they know what it is but they don’t. My neurologist who has taken care of me for over 30 years, just reitred, now I will never have any time with my family because of the pain I’m in. Thanks to all those who know nothing about PAIN!


In the United States Of America millions of people are being denied medications which allow them (sometimes) to cope or even function somewhat. I have been bedridden for months. I feel as though I am not “living” and am just existing in horrible pain. I feel as though many doctors and other medical “experts” playing judge and jury have already made up their minds that anyone and everyone who seek medications manufactured to help us cope with our pain as addicts. These medical professionals get paid whether they help us or not. I understand that they would not want to jeopardize their careers and professional licenses. I give up for now and will continue to try to live in chronic pain as, in a sense, I feel completely defeated.

Lee Bolin

You should have a veteran, that sufferers from chronic pain, and see what they do to treat us. I have a morphine pump, implanted in me, yet.not one doctor knows how to manage the pump. They are to stupid to have someone from.Medtronics, come out to service my pump. I have gone several times, as my.pump had run dry. It it not funny at all, going tox, but they.can care less.


I will be working during that time. If there is a recap or recording, that would be helpful. I wish I could join, but I can’t even control my lunch hour to that degree. Please folks, take advantage of this if you’re able. I wish I could.