David Spero, one of our regular contributing writers, suggested last year that we publish a story about the connection between trauma and chronic pain. “Research shows that almost 90% of people with chronic pain have suffered some kind of trauma, but they rarely get treated for it,” he told me. I’m pleased to publish his article on this topic, “Putting the Pieces Back Together” (page 16). Trauma is not something most of us like to talk about, but it’s important to shine light on it and recognize its role in the pain so many people experience.
As one of the experts Spero spoke with said: “Once unreleased trauma is liberated from the body, most conditions begin to resolve.” The story describes eight methods for releasing trauma and lists several books and online resources that can help.
I’m also happy to be publishing Paul Wynn’s interview with Dr. Gary Kaplan (“Breaking the Cycle of Pain,” page 40). Kaplan is a leader in efforts to solve the mystery of chronic pain and depression. He wrote the book Total Recovery on the topic a few years ago, and in speaking with Wynn, he explains the somewhat radical notion that pain itself is an inflammatory disease with deep connections to our brains.
“There’s a huge overlap between pain and neuropsychiatric illnesses,” Kaplan says. He believes that back pain, fibromyalgia, and other conditions “are symptoms of inflammation in the brain. A brain on fire, if you will… Our current approach to treating chronic pain is like a fireman only clearing away the smoke and not putting out the fire.”
I hope that Spero and Wynn’s articles and the other excellent content in these pages can help you on your road to recovery. Feel free to let me know what you think about any of our articles; just drop me a note at [email protected].