Monday, August 23, 2010

'Pain Chronicles': Understanding Pain As A Disease : NPR interview

Years ago, writer Melanie Thernstrom developed a pain in her neck that poured through her right shoulder, down into her arm and into her hand. It never got better.

After a long period of denial, she went to doctors, one after another, and eventually concluded that there was no surgery, no manipulation, no magic-bullet cure. She believes we need to reconsider our definition of pain.

Most of us tend to think that pain is what happens when you break a bone or cut yourself. When it heals, you feel better. But for many millions pain does not go away. It's not a reaction to a sprain or a fever, it's a disease of its own.

Melanie Thernstrom joins us from Palatine Studios in Portland, Oregon. Her new book is "The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing and the Science of Suffering." Nice to have you with us today.

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