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Are you a healthcare provider or someone living with pain? Get Trained in Pain Science
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Resources

Access to affordable, high-quality information about pain is critical. A trove of articles, books, videos, apps, and podcasts can be found here.

VIDEOS

Favorite, free videos for healthcare providers + people living with pain.
Healing Our Pain Pandemic: ZDoggMD podcast (viral on FB)
•  The Truth About Managing Chronic Pain: ZDoggMD podcast (viral on FB)
•  How to Heal Chronic Pain: The Jordan Harbinger Show (viral on Spotify)
  The Science of Pain with Columbia + Barnard (Zoffness with Dr. Commerford)
  Hack Your Chronic Pain pt 1: Confidently Insecure podcast
•  Hack Your Chronic Pain pt 2: Confidently Insecure podcast
•  The Science of Pain Management: Science of Psychotherapy podcast
•  Managing Pain by targeting the brain: Seize the Moment Podcast
•  How to manage chronic pain holistically: Erin & Sarit
•  Tame the Beast: How the brain learns pain (5 mins, Moseley)
 Why Things Hurt (Moseley, TED talk)
•  The science of pain (5 min video, Pate)
•  IASP's collection of trainings & videos
•  Pain Bytes (video series) - Pain Management Network, Australia
•  How to manage pain during medical procedures
    (12 min video) - Stanford Children's Health
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: A training for patients + providers
•  Pain neuroscience with Dr. Mackey (20 mins, Stanford)
 The science of neuroplasticity (2 mins)
•  
Why does pain become chronic? Central sensitization with Mayo Clinic (22     mins)
•  Understanding pain (5 min, Hunter Integrated Pain Service)
•  How to explain pain to kids (4 min, BC Children's Hospital)
•  The psychology of pain (Beth Darnall)
•  
Melzack on the Gate Control Theory of Pain (12 mins. Warning: nerdy)
•  Collection of pediatric pain resources & videos: The Meg Foundation

ARTICLES

Journal articles + resources for healthcare providers and patients on everything to do with pain.

Pain Science

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Pain is Biopsychosocial
• Pain is BOTH physical + emotional (Psychology Today)
• What you don't know about pain WILL hurt you (Kevin MD)
Tame the Beast (Moseley, video + info)
Pain is biopsychosocial (Gatchel + Howard)
Pain treatment is biopsychosocial (Bevers et al)
What is pain? (UCSF Pain & Addiction Research Center)
Psychosocial contributions to chronic pain outcomes (Meints & Edwards)
•  Psychosocial processes affect the development & maintenance of chronic pain (Edwards et al 2016)
• A biopsychosocial formulation of pain communication - great academic paper
• Biopsychosocial assessment and formulation of pediatric pain (Liossi & Howard)
• Evidence-based psychosocial interventions for pediatric pain management (Coakley & Wihak)
• How treatment changes neurophysiology (Flor - click the PDF link)
• Pain is NOT biomedical: An expose of the opiate epidemic and Big Pharma (NPR, Lembke)
Moseley's take on the biopsychosocial model (podcast + article)
Research Uncovers Potential Treatment for Chronic Pain (Zoffness)
•  Why is my doctor sending me to a Psychologist for PAIN? (Harvard Health)
•  Evidence for Psychological Treatments for Pain (Vox)
•  The neuroscience of nonpharm treatments (J Neural Science)
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How Pain Becomes Chronic
What is Central Sensitization? (Institute for Chronic Pain)
How does pain become chronic? (J of Pain)
•The neurobiology of Central Sensitization (J Applied Beh Res)
Explaining central sensitization to patients (Manual Therapy)
• Central sensitization occurs in fibromyalgia, migraine, arthritis + other pain conditions (Lancet)
Central sensitivity conditions: Prevalence of fibromyalgia and other brain-body conditions (Pain Research & Tx)
Understanding CRPS (Mayo Clinic)
• Understanding amplified pain (AMPS)
•  Pediatric CRPS: Background + treatment
The link between anxiety, sensitivity, and pain
Amplified pain, CRPS + CBT
Nociplastic pain (Lancet)
• How CBT can desensitize and re-train your brain: neuroplasticity video
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How Pain Works // Pain Neuroscience
•  Think Pain is Purely Medical? Think Again (Psychology Today)
•  A Tale of Two Nails: What Changes Pain? (Psychology Today)
•  What is pain? (Moseley)
•  Why we need to target the brain in pain treatment: Evidence from neuroscience (Moseley & Flor)
•  Neuroimaging pain: A guide to pain neuroscience (Martucci & Mackey)
•  Brain imaging of pain (J Pain Res)
•  Pain Chats features amazing pain education written by some of my favorite pain nerds.
•  Pain & the brain (U Wisconsin, brief handout)
•  Neuromatrix theory of pain (Chronic Pain Institute)
•  Pain control techniques (article)
Distraction strategies for pain (Journal: PAIN - PDF article download)
•  Mood & attention regulate the experience of pain (NPR)
•  Pain catastrophizing: Negative mood states and negative thoughts affect pain (Journal: Expert Review of     Neurotherapeutics)
•  The power of "brain training" (HA magazine)
•  The impact of mood on pain: Laughter as Medicine (Scientific American)
•  The Neuroscience of pain (The New Yorker)
•  A list of pain education websites
•  NIH's update on the opioid epidemic (2021)
•  A seriously great handout on how pain works (VA.gov)
•  The funniest ever version of the pain scale, in case you need to laugh.

Treatments That Work

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Cognitive Behavioral 
Therapy (CBT)
CBT has abundant evidence of effectiveness for chronic pain. Please note that "CBT for pain" is defined differently by different people. Be careful what you read on the internet: some folks have had bad therapy experiences, but that doesn't mean CBT doesn't work.
• A Magical Cure for Pain? (Zoffness)
•  What you don't know about pain WILL hurt you (KevinMD)
•  Research Uncovers Potential Treatment for Chronic Pain (Zoffness)
•  Why do biobehavioral treatments work? The neuroscience of CBT for pain (one of my favorite journal articles, by Flor + Moseley)
•   The neuroscience of nonpharmacological tx: target pain-related brain plasticity (J. Neural Plasticity)
•  Psychotherapeutic interventions for chronic pain: "Evidence-based psychotherapy for chronic pain has established efficacy and safety and improves quality of life and physical and emotional functioning" (Int J Psychiatry Med)
•  What everyone with chronic pain should know about CBT (Curable podcast)
•  A review of CBT: "CBT has been shown to be highly efficacious in the treatment of a number of chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia, headaches, low back pain, osteoarthritis, & rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, meta-analytic comparisons have substantiated these findings & have proven CBT to be a skill of utmost importance in pain management." (PPM)
•  The neuroscience underlying CBT for pain (one of my favorite journal articles, by Flor + Moseley)
•  CBT for chronic pain: A review (Edhe)
 CBT for chronic pain: A therapeutic approach for the opioid epidemic (J Psych Prac)
•  Mind-body therapies for opioid-treated pain (Garland)
•  CBT can improve quality of life for people with pain
•  CBT reduces depression in patients with pain
 CBT effective for reducing stomachaches + GI sx (J of Pain)
 CBT effective for co-occuring trauma + chronic pain (PPM)
 Pain Chats: Tips & tools about pain management from my favorite pain nerds

CBT-Based Books:

The Pain Management Workbook (Zoffness)
Managing Chronic Pain: A CBT-Approach Workbook (Otis)
Managing Pain Before It Manages You (Caudill)
Why Do I Hurt? (Louw)
Anything by Lorimer Moseley or Adriaan Louw (not technically CBT, but in the same family and very helpful!)
• See more books under the "books" sub-tab on this page
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Mindfulness
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Free course for patients + providers, evidence-based & awesome
Research Uncovers Potential Treatment for Chronic Pain (Zoffness)
Mind-Body Therapies for Opioid-Treated Pain (JAMA)
Mindfulness for managing chronic pain (PsychCentral)
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): How mindfulness changes pain processing in the brain
Mind-Body approach to pain (Communitas: Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, UCSF)
Nonpharmacological approaches to pain management  (NY Times)
Mindfulness & distraction are effective for pain (IASP)
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Biofeedback
➡ According to the American Migraine Foundation, "Biofeedback and relaxation training yield a 45-60% reduction in headache frequency + severity - equivalent to the reduction in headache achieved by many headache medications, such as propranolol (Inderal) & amitriptyline (Elavil), but without any of the negative side effects."
• Find a biofeedback provider near you: BICA (enter zip code only for best results)
Biofeedback and relaxation therapy: definition (MHNI)
Biofeedback for migraine + headaches (Amer. Migraine Foundation)
Efficacy of biofeedback for headaches (journal)
• How biofeedback works: The Skin You're In (Dr. Erik Peper)
• Articles on biofeedback for pain

Specific Symptoms

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Stomachaches + GI Symptoms
➡ There is more serotonin in your gut than in your brain! Your GI tract contains 80-90% of the serotonin in your body. This means that your stomach is highly sensitive to emotions. No wonder you get "butterflies," stomachaches & nausea when you're stressed or anxious, why you "trust your gut instincts," and have a "gut feeling."
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Sleep + Insomnia (don't take meds for sleep!)
Tips for improving sleep when you have pain (Govt of W AU)
• The interrelationship between sleep + pain (PPM)
Sleep hygiene: 5 tips for sleeping well, with or without pain (Palermo & Law)
• Over-the-counter sleep meds are BAD for you (Harvard Health)
• Why sleeping pills do more harm than good (TIME)
Risks of sleeping pills include early death, outweigh benefits (TIME)
• The association between sleep and pain (J Pain)
Screens disrupt sleep cycles: melatonin & sleep (Scientific American) - good read!
Treatment for sleep issues = CBT-i (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia)
•CBT-i is better than pills for sleep (NPR)
•How CBT for insomnia works
• How to find a CBT-i provider near you (option 1)
•How to find a CBT-i provider near you (option 2)
• APP for phones: CBT-i Coach
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Back Pain and Lower Back Pain (LBP)
NO ASSOCIATION between back scans and pain: Before you have surgery to fix those findings on your scan, note that those abnormalities may NOT be the cause of your pain. (J Neurol Neurochir Pol)
MRI findings are *not* associated with Lower Back Pain (LBP, PLoS): When your doctor tells you that your back pain is due to an abnormal MRI finding,    you may want to think again.
• Degenerative changes in the lumbar spine are frequently found on MRI scans, but they do not correlate with the intensity of pain and do not predict    pain. (Detecting a theme here...? J of Medicine)
Movement might be the best medicine for back pain. Not moving/exercising can delay healing. (Harvard Health)
• Language matters: "abnormal" scans might actually be NORMAL. Just like faces, backs get "wrinkles" over time (Athletico PT)
• An integrative behavioral approach to back pain (wisdom + research from Peter O'Sullivan, a brilliant PT)
• "Spinal degeneration" is COMMON in asymptomatic, healthy populations (Spine, via Mayo Clinic)
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: A Review (2018)
Reduction in pain catastrophizing reduces back pain: Thoughts Change Pain (J of Pain)
• Understanding and reducing fear around pain decreases back pain (A. Louw PT)
Book rec: Everyone Has Back Pain, by Adriaan Louw + The Pain Management Workbook, by Zoffness

Anxiety, Depression + Trauma

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Stress & Anxiety
➡ Stress and anxiety trigger and amplify pain... and pain triggers and amplifies stress and anxiety.
ACES = Adverse Childhood Experiences: studies indicates that early exposure to environmental stressors is associated with the development of chronic pain & illness.
CDC ACES report: how stress & traumatic experiences in childhood lead to health issues later in life
• Relationship between stress and pain (VMC)
• Link between anxiety and pain tolerance (NY Times)
• Relationship between chronic pain and anxiety: Institute for Chronic Pain
Anxiety and catastrophizing mediate the experience of adolescent pain (journal article)
Physical effects of stress on the body (APA)
Sources of childhood stress that can trigger/maintain pain (KidsHealth)
Stress and time management tips for teens (Sutter Health)
Anxiety and stress negatively affect pain: 50 signs of stress in the BODY
Anxiety in children (AACAP)
Explaining anxiety to kids (Dr. Angoff)
School refusal is often a sign of anxiety (ADAA)
Try CBT before drugs for childhood insomnia (American College of Physicians)
Child Mind Institute (CBT effective for childhood anxiety)
Mayo Clinic (CBT for anxiety explained)
• Why are more American teenagers than ever suffering from anxiety? (NYT magazine)
Mindfulness & distraction are effective for pediatric pain (Int Assoc for the Study of Pain)
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Depression
➡ Up to 85% of patients with chronic pain live with depression. This is what we call a "normal response to an abnormal situation." The body isn't built to be in pain for months and years - no wonder you're depressed! (Note: your brain isn't broken.)
• The relationship between Depression + Pain (Mayo)
•  Pain amplifies depression, and depression amplifies pain (J of Neural Plasticity)
•  The link between depression and physical symptoms (J Clinical Psych)
 Depression and pain comorbidity (JAMA)
•  Symptoms of depression in youth (Mayo Clinic)
• Serotonin & endorphins: increase "happy hormones" to improve mood
Parent guide to teen depression & suicide warning signs (Help Guide: Harvard health)
Exercise, nature & being social  can improve mood and self-esteem (journal)
CBT for childhood depression  (Society of Child & Adolescent Clinical Psych)
Self-injury: Why do people cut? (Mayo Clinic)
The best articles on depression have been written by Hyperbole And A Half author Alie Brosh. Pt I is here, Pt 2 is here. Brilliant 🌟
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Trauma
➡ Trauma and chronic pain go hand-in-hand. Chronic pain & trauma co-occur up to 80% of the time (!!). If you've experienced any type of trauma, including abuse or sexual assault, pain treatment MUST include trauma treatment.
Adverse Childhood Experiences Studies (Felitti et al, 1998)
Seminal research reports that trauma - aka, adverse childhood experiences (ACES) - are major risk factors for chronic illness, pain, depression, and disability. ACEs include: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, parental mental illness, parental substance abuse, witnessing violent crime.
Childhood trauma is vulnerability factor for developing chronic pain (Harvard Health - great article)
  Chronic pain and trauma co-occur in up to 80% of patients (Psych Trauma)
•  Up to 80% of those seeking treatment for PTSD have chronic pain (Br J Pain)
•  The relationship between trauma and pain, and how CBT can help (PPM)
•  PTSD and chronic pain (Otis et al)
•  The importance of pain psychology in the treatment of trauma + pain
 Trauma increases sensitivity to pain (Clinical J of Pain)
• Research on the comorbidity of trauma + pain (Perspectives in Psychiatric Care)
• Trauma matters: psychological interventions for comorbid psychosocial trauma and chronic pain (J Pain)
 Thoughts amplify pain post-trauma (Clin J of Pain)
•  Book rec: The Body Keeps the Score (van der Kolk)
•  A physician's take on the Mind-Body Connection
• For trauma survivors seeking resources, check this website (the clinic has closed, but there's a list of websites + programs)

For Kids, Teens + Parents

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School
Should my child go to school with pain? (Harvard)
Getting kids in pain to school (Darling)
Helping kids with pain get out of bed (Darling)
Returning to school helps the brain recover from pain, headaches and concussions (getschooledonconcussions.com)
School Refusal (ADAA)
How missing school makes anxiety, stress and pain worse: Why are more teenagers than ever suffering from severe anxiety? (NY Times)
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Screentime
• How screens are hijacking your dopamine-reward-pathway (Harvard)
What screens do to the brain (Psychology Today)
• Social media use increases anxiety and decreases self-esteem (Child Mind Institute)
Kids and smartphones (TIME mag)
Tips for taking control of smartphones (Humane Tech - this website is GREAT!)
• The LIKE movie (show it to your kids)
Apps ranked by how happy/unhappy they make people feel

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Websites + Apps for Youth
•  ComfortAbility: Boston Children's Hospital
•  Seattle Children's Hospital: Dr. Tonya Palermo's lab
•  ChildKind (resources)
•  APP for kids with pain: WEBMap Mobile (found in your phone's "app store")
 Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP)
•  Creative Healing for Youth in Pain (CHYP @ UCLA)
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Books for Kids, Teens + Parents
The Chronic Pain & Illness Workbook for Teens, by R. Zoffness
• Be the Boss of Your Pain: Self-Care for Kids, by Kajander & Culbert
• Treating Somatic Symptoms in Children & Adolescents, by Williams & Zahka
• Imagine a Rainbow: A Child’s Guide for Soothing Pain, by B. Miles
• GrrrOUCH!: Pain is Like a Grouchy Bear, by C. Morgan
Biobehavioral Strategies for Pediatric Pain (free PDF, Mayday Fund)

Additional Resources

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Placebo
• Coming soon!
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Treatment Books + Workbooks
Check out the "Books" tab for more great resources.
The Pain Management Workbook (Zoffness)
The Chronic Pain and Illness Workbook for Teens (Zoffness)
Why Do I Hurt? (Louw)
Managing Chronic Pain: A CBT-Approach Workbook (Otis)
Managing Pain Before It Manages You (Caudill)
• Anything and everything by Lorimer Moseley
A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (Stahl)
CBT for Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents (Palermo, for providers)
Managing Your Child's Chronic Pain (Zeltzer, for parents)

FOR MORE, visit the "Books" tab (above) on this Resources page!

BOOKS

Books for healthcare professionals, people living with pain, parents, and kids of all ages.
For Youth
•  The Chronic Pain & Illness Workbook for Teens, by R. Zoffness
•  Be the Boss of Your Pain: Self-Care for Kids, by Kajander & Culbert
•  Imagine a Rainbow: A Child’s Guide for Soothing Pain, by B. Milesrvice
•  GrrrOUCH!: Pain is Like a Grouchy Bear, by C. Morgan
For Parents
The Chronic Pain & Illness Workbook for Teens, by R. Zoffness (kids, teens,     parents)
• Pain in Children & Young Adults: The Journey Back to Normal, by Zeltzer &    Zeltzer
•  Conquering Your Child’s Chronic Pain, by L. Zeltzer
•  Managing Your Child’s Chronic Pain, by Palermo & Law
•  When Your Child Hurts, by R. Coakley
•  Drug Dealer MD, by A. Lembke
•  Compilation of resources for parents: ChildKind  
•  Book list for parents: Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
For Adults with Pain
•  The Pain Management Workbook, by R. Zoffness
•  Pain: The Science of Suffering, by P. Wall
•  The Pain Survival Guide, by Turk & Winter
•  Why Do I Hurt, by A. Louw
•  Explain Pain, by Butler & Moseley
•  Managing Chronic Pain: A CBT Approach, by J. Otis
•  Drug Dealer MD, by A. Lembke
•  The Body Keeps the Score, B. van der Kolk
•  Saving Normal, by A. Frances
•  The Brain That Changes Itself, by N. Doidge
14,000 Things to Be Happy About (a surprise gift that will spark joy + lower pain    volume.)
•  Make Health Happen, E. Peper
• Quiet Your Mind and Get to Sleep: Solutions to Insomnia for Those with    Depression, Anxiety, or Chronic Pain (Carney)
Overcoming Insomnia: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
• Say Goodnight to Insomnia (Espie)

For Healthcare Providers
•  The Pain Management Workbook, by R. Zoffness (adult-focused)
•  The Chronic Pain & Illness Workbook for Teens, by R. Zoffness (child- focused)
•  Pain: The Science of Suffering, by P. Wall
•  Why Do I Hurt, by A. Louw
•  Explain Pain, by Butler & Moseley
•  The Body Keeps the Score, B. van der Kolk
•  Saving Normal, by A. Frances
•  The Brain That Changes Itself, by N. Doidge
•  Managing Pain Before it Manages You, by M. Caudill
•  Managing Chronic Pain: A CBT Approach, by J. Otis
•  CBT for Chronic Pain: Therapist Manual, by J. Murphy
•  CBT for Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents, by T. Palermo
•  Drug Dealer MD, by A. Lembke
•  Treating Somatic Symptoms in Children and Adolescents, by Williams &      Zahka
 A Child in Pain: What Health Professionals Can Do To Help, by L. Kuttner
•  Biofeedback Mastery, E. Peper
•  Make Health Happen, E. Peper
Overcoming Insomnia: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
• Quiet Your Mind and Get to Sleep: Solutions to Insomnia for Those with    Depression, Anxiety, or Chronic Pain (Carney)
• Say Goodnight to Insomnia (Espie)

PROVIDERS + PROGRAMS

• The American Association of Pain Psychology: psychologists for adults with     pain (mostly in CA)
• Finding a Pain Psychologist (Darnall)
• Full list of Pediatric Pain programs around the world
•  How to find a Biofeedback Provider (enter only zip code) 
• To get help for TRAUMA (and pain!), visit this website. This particular clinic has    closed, but there's a list of websites + clinics
• List of Somatic Experiencing Practitioners by state (for pain and/or trauma)
• The American Chronic Pain Association (support groups + info)
• To find a pain psychologist, go to Psychology Today and type in "pain     psychologist CBT"

*** If you cannot find a pain psychologist, find a therapist or PT you like, give them The Pain Management Workbook, and ask them to go through it with you.***

APPS

Smartphone apps to take with you wherever you go.
For Adults + Kids
•  WebMAP mobile (Seattle Children's Hospital)
•  UCLA Mindful (free & awesome)
•  CBT-I Coach (for insomnia)
•  Stop Breathe Think
•  Breathe2Relax
•  Relax Melodies
•  Headspace
•  Rain Rain
•  Calm
Additional Recommendations
•  APA Health Psychology recommended apps
•  A collection of pain trackers and apps

Podcasts + Guided Audio

For those who learn by listening, a collection of pain science podcasts - plus guided audio for easing pain + distress.
PODCASTS
➡️ Find these on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Some can also be found on YouTube.
• Jordan Harbinger: Managing Pain in Your Body + Brain (viral episode, "most shared" on Spotify)
• OLOGIES Dolorology: The Science of Pain (viral episode, "most shared" on    Spotify)
• ZDogg MD: Healing Our Pain Pandemic (viral on FB)
• ZDogg MD: The Truth About Chronic Pain (viral on FB)
• ZDoggMD: Pain Points 1
• ZDoggMD: Pain Points 2
• ZDogg MD: Anxiety Contagion: Healing Our Kids' Mental Health Crisis
• Kelsey Darragh, Confidently Insecure: Hack Your Chronic Pain Pt 1
• Kelsey Darragh, Confidently Insecure: Hack Your Chronic Pain Pt 2
• KPFA Radio: Coping with Chronic Pain
•  Healthy, Wealthy & Smart: The Money & Science of Pain Management
•  Neurofibromatosis Network: Understanding chronic pain
• The Run Smarter Podcast: Understanding Pain & Injury (pt 1)
• The Run Smarter Podcast: Strategies to Reduce Your Pain (pt 2)
Pain Reframed with Rachel Zoffness
Modern Pain Podcast
Healing Pain Podcast
Pedia Pain Focus 
Straight Talk MD
Pain Revolution: list of podcasts + resources
GUIDED AUDIO
Audio for pain: The Pain Management Workbook free audio (create an account for free access)
Audio for pain: The Chronic Pain & Illness Workbook (create an account for free access)
Guided Audio: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR; under "Practices" on the left)
Guided Audio: Guided Meditations, UCLA
Guided Audio: Dr. Dawn Buse
•  Guided Audio for kids: Bedtime Explorers for sleep
Calm Your Nervous System: free 20-minute relaxation audio
• Guided Audio: Seattle Children's Hospital (middle of the page)
Guided Audio: The Comfort-Ability, Harvard/Boston Children's Hospital
• Guided Audio: Self-Compassion, Kristen Neff (these are WONDERFUL if you've never tried them)

PODCASTS

Integrative Pain Science InstituteJordan Harbinger PodcastZDogg PodcastPain Reframed

"Pain, Explained" Column in Psychology Today

Think Pain Is Purely Medical? Think Again
Pain isn’t simply a medical issue.
A Tale of Two Nails
What changes pain? The science behind why pain is painful.
Ten Evidence-Based Strategies for Pain Relief
Tips and tools for treating chronic pain.
How to Set Boundaries With Family
A guide to maintaining sanity.

“Everyone deserves to understand pain.”
- Rachel Zoffness, PhD

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