Pain & Passion

Pain is experienced as a community.

On a pediatric rotation I met a beautiful nine-year-old girl with a complaint of shoulder pain. I questioned her trying and find a cause. There was no trauma associated with the pain. There was no bruising. Every movement was painful during the physical exam.


She had come to the visit with her father who was anxiously sitting in the room. It was obvious that his daughter's pain was affecting him as well. I asked the father, "What's going on at home?" The father explained that he and his wife were getting a divorce. Suddenly, the story made sense. This girl was literally carrying the weight of her parent's stress and pain on her shoulders.


We began to talk about the situation together. There was tears and laughter. While talking about the hardships at home I treated the girl with an osteopathic technique to relax the muscular tension in her shoulders and neck. I then taught them breathing exercises for relaxation and showed the father how...

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The Cure to Back Pain

This is an audacious title for an article as back pain is the most common cause of disability in the United States. If there were a cure wouldn’t everyone know about it?

Research for chronic back pain consistently states that there is strong evidence for the use of manual medicine (osteopathy), exercise, and psychological support. There are many treatment options that vary from conservative too aggressive. Unfortunately, it seems that the treatment of back pain is approached with a trial and error mindset. As a result, people end up spending a great deal of time and money to find relief without a clear understanding of what caused the pain.

We are looking at back pain as only one problem. We are treating back pain as an end result, while ignoring the question, “Why did this occur?”

When we lead with “Why,” we find personalized solutions that address an individual’s unique medical history. Back pain can occur for a number of reasons varying from...

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