Pain is a pervasive problem in our society, affecting more than 100 million Americans and accounting for more than $600 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.
Current treatments for chronic pain are inadequate. In order to develop more effective therapies, the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory (SNAPL) has an active clinical research program investigating the body’s response to pain and how chronic pain in particular changes the brain and central nervous system.
Stanford’s clinical studies are making steady advances in our understanding of chronic pain, which in turn are helping us to develop better treatments. Stanford’s ongoing studies are often reported in the popular press, including television, in magazines, journals, and newspapers. Links to some of these reports are available in the selected press archive (below).
- Scientific American publishes Beth's blog describing her science on pain psychology and mindset interventions for pain relief and opioid reduction: "Change your mindset, reduce your chronic pain" (author: Beth Darnall). April 2018.
- O Magazine includes Beth Darnall in the feature "Why Prescription Painkillers are so Addictive" (author: Peg Rosen). April 2018.
- Opioid tapering does not increase pain intensity. February 2018. Healio.
- Some Pain Patients Can Cut Opioid Dose and Still Get Relief. February 2018. US News.
- How One Pain Clinic Tapered Opioid Use: Neither baseline dose, nor duration of drug use, predicted success. February 2018. MedPage Today.
- Slow and steady wins this race: Stanford pain specialist studies opioid tapering. February 2018. SCOPE.
- The Tao of Chronic Pain. Spiritualy & Health Magazine, January Feburary 2018 Issue.
- APS Future Leader Grant Recipient Earns $8.8 Million Award from PCORI. American Pain Society, December 2017.
- Centering Patients' Psychological State Key to Treating Pain Without Opioids. workcompcentral, November 2017.
- Absolutes in Chronic Pain Treatment Can Backfire. National Pain Report, October 2017.
- Is the Pain Care World Set Up to Really Help Us? National Pain Report, October 2017.
- Comparative Effectiveness of Pain Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Chronic Pain Self-Management within the Context of Opioid Reduction. pcori, September 2017.
- Stanford researchers: The secret to overcoming the opioid crisis may lie partly in the mind. The Washington Post, September 2017
- 3 Science-backed ways to relieve pain and stress. TIME Magazine, August 2017.
- Overcoming Opioids: When pills are a hospital’s last resort. AP News, May 2017.
- Treating Pain without Pills. SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, May 2017
- Love: a Powerful Solution to Chronic Pain. US News. May 2017.
- Presurgical Program Aims to Reduce Pain and Opioid Use After Surgery. Partnership for Drug Free Kids April 2017
- A Mismatch Between Pill and Problem. Women Total Health & Wellness, winter issue pages 80-84, January 2017
- Beyond Opioids: Surgeons Explore New Approaches To Pain Control. Pain Medicine News December 2016.
- Beth Darnall on opioid-free pain relief. Stanford Medicine News Center October 2016.
- Is pain in the brain? A pain psychologist discusses alternative to opioids. Stanford Medicine SCOPE October 2016.
- Period pain: why do so many women suffer from menstrual cramps in silence? The Guardian October 2016.
- Shifting the focus from opioids to life beyond pain: A Q&A with pain expert Beth Darnall. Stanford Medicine SCOPE September 2016
- Biopsychosocial Treatment Effective in Reducing Pain. Clinical Pain Advisor September 2016.
- Applying CBT and Mindfulness Effectively in Pain Management. MPR September 2016.
- Is Menopause Partly to Blame for Record Painkiller Addiction Among White Women? New York Magazine The Cut August 2016
- Hospitals Try Giving Patients a Dose of VR. Bloomberg August 2016
- Common Surgeries Associated with Increased Risk for Chronic Opioid Use. Pain Medicine News August 2016
- Surgeries found to increase risk of chronic opioid use. Stanford Medicine News Center July 2016
- Treating pain requires more than a pill. San Francisco Chronicle April 2016.
- Opioids for Chronic Pain: Gain Insider Advice. Pain Pathways Magazine April 2016
- Increasing patient satisfaction in the pain clinic: The impact of an orientation video and its integration with the Collaborative Health Outcomes Registry (CHOIR) MDLinx February 20 2016
- People are looking for better answers: A conversation about chronic pain. SCOPE September 22, 2015
- The problem of prescription opioids: An extraordinarily timely topic. SCOPE April 13 2015
- Interview with Dr. Sean Mackey – National Pain Strategy. www.lynnwebstermd.com May 2015.
- The problem of prescription opioids: “An extraordinarily timely topic”. Scope April 13 2015
- Dealing with pain. BeWell at Stanford April 7 2015
- Neuroscientist says brain scans can validate chronic pain. CBC Radio April 7 2015
- How Can You Diagnose Someone Else’s Pain? Healthline News March 31 2015
- More progress in the quest for a "painometer". SCOPE BLOG December 17 2012
- Gain in pain: Stanford researchers use brain scans, algorithms to ID chronic pain patients. SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES December 17 2012
- Neuroscience mapping brain connections. LA TIMES September 13 2012
- The Numbers Game: How Many Americans Have Chronic Pain? AMERICAN NEWS REPORT May 16 2012
- Education a Cornerstone of Effective Opioid Management. FAMILY PRACTICE NEWS March 16 2012
- Ask Stanford Med: Neuroscientist responds to questions on pain and love’s analgesic effects. SCOPE BLOG March 5 2012
- Promising Drug to Treat Fibromyalgia May Never Be Approved by FDA. AMERICAN NEWS REPORT February 27 2012
- Ask Stanford Med: Neuroscientist taking questions on pain and love's analgesic effects. SCOPE BLOG February 13 2012
- Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain. WALL STREET JOURNAL November 15 2011
- The Ways We Talk About Pain. SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN September 27 2011
- Brain Scans Suggest a New, Objective Way to Measure Pain. DISCOVER MAGAZINE September 22 2011
- A New, Objective Way to Study Pain. THE ATLANTIC September 21 2011
- An Objective Way to Measure Pain. MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW September 14 2011
- Does that hurt? Objective way to measure pain being developed at Stanford. STANFORD PRESS RELEASE September 13 2011
- New IOM Report Lays Out Plan For Improving Pain Care.
PAIN MEDICINE NEWS August 2011
- Headache clinic to open at Stanford. PALO ALTO WEEKLY July 22 2011
- National Expert to Lead New Stanford Headache Clinic.
PRESS RELEASE July 20 2011
- Giving Chronic Pain a Medical Platform of Its Own. NEW YORK TIMES July 18 2011
- When Someone Says, “My Stomach Hurts,” Stanford Listens.
PRESS RELEASE July 11 2011
- Doctors' Challenge: How Real Is That Pain? WALL STREET JOURNAL July 5 2011
- New Report Details Uphill Battle to Solve the U.S.'s Pain Problem.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN July 1 2011
- Major Changes Needed to End Inadequate Pain Management for Millions.
HEALTH NEWS DIGEST June 29 2011
- US pain management falls short, UAB professor aided-study finds.
AOL June 29 2011
- Challenges of Treating Chronic Pain in People with Opioid Dependence. DRUGFREE.ORG June 24 2011
- Back pain is a complicated issue. LA TIMES April 4 2011
- AAPM: State of Mind Can Turn Acute Pain to Chronic.
MEDPAGE TODAY March 28 2011
- Healing the Hurt. TIME February 24 2011
- Pain be gone. NEW SCIENTIST January 22 2011
- Study shows people in love feel less pain.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS January 5 2011
- Passionate love can relieve pain, researchers find.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE November 22 2010
- Love: A natural painkiller? USA TODAY October 15 2010
- Your love is my drug: How passion sparks the same painkilling pathways as drugs. SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN October 14 2010
- Love A Potent Painkiller, Stanford Researchers Say. KCBS5 San Francisco. October 13 2010
- Love really is like a drug. THE GUARDIAN October 13 2010
- Love and Pain Relief. NEW YORK TIMES October 13 2010
- Love takes up where pain leaves off, brain study shows.
INSIDE STANFORD MEDICINE October 13 2010
- Love is a powerful painkiller, study finds. LOS ANGELES TIMES October 13 2010
- Trial Examines 5-HT3 Antagonist for Opioid Withdrawal.
ANESTHESIOLOGY NEWS July 2010
- How the Mind Controls Pain. MSN HEALTH & FITNESS June 21 2010
- Pain Management: A Whole Body Experience. STANFORD ACCESS June 2010
- Shooting Pain. NATURE October 28 2009
- At Least 34 Research Jobs at Stanford Medical School from Stimulus Funds.BUSINESS WIRE August 4 2009
- Ban Is Advised on 2 Top Pills for Pain Relief. NEW YORK TIMES July 1 2009
- 'Life-Changing Benefits' for Patients Using Addiction Drug.
THE HERALD April 25 2009
- Addiction Drug May Relieve Fibromyalgia Symptoms. REUTERS April 24 2009
- Heroin Addiction Drug May Relieve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN April 17 2009
- Inexpensive Drug Appears to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain in Stanford Pilot Study.STANFORD MEDNEWS April 16 2009
- Brain Scans of Pain Raise Questions for the Law.
SCIENCE January 9 2009
- A Spoonful of Sugar Pills. STANFORD MEDICINE Summer 2008
- Taking Your Life Back from Pain's Control. PALO ALTO WEEKLY July 23 2008
- Stanford Pain Center Receives Center of Excellence Recognition.
APS Press Release April 2008
- Son Finds Hope for Dying Father on Internet.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE February 2008
- A Growing Cadre of Doctors and Scientists Now Believes that Chronic Back Pain is a Disease of the Nervous System, Not the Spine. BEST LIFE January 2008
- Pain. AUSTIN FIT September 2007
- Natural-Born Pain Killers. PREVENTION July 2007
- The Changing Science of Pain. NEWSWEEK June 2007
- Brain Powered. READER'S DIGEST March 2007
- Patients Learn to Use Brain to Beat Pain.
KGO-TV (San Francisco) February 27 2007
- New Findings on Pain Relief. CONSUMER REPORTS ON HEALTH September 2006
- Placebo's Power Goes Beyond the Mind. MSNBC August 21 2006
- Training Attention. MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW July 17 2006
- Seeing Your Pain. MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW July 11 2006
- Ouch! How to Relieve Chronic Pain. LADIES' HOME JOURNAL July 2006
- My Pain, My Brain. NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE May 14 2006
- Brain Over Pain. BOSTON GLOBE January 23 2006
- Doctor Treats Pain Without Pills. NBC NIGHTLY NEWS January 5 2006
- Think Away the Pain. WIRED NEWS December 21 2005
- Relief From Chronic Pain May Be a Thought Away.
NEW YORK TIMES December 20 2005
- Brain Scans Help Think Away Pain. BBC NEWS December 13 2005
- Pain Sufferers Use Brain to Find Relief. FORBES December 12 2005
- Thought Control Brings Pain Into Line. NATURE December 12 2005
- How to Think Your Pain Away. TIMES ONLINE (UK) December 12 2005
- It's All in Your Head. STANFORD MEDICINE Fall 2005
- Pain & Women's Health. NATIONAL WOMEN'S HEALTH REPORT June 2005
- Pain May Be in the Brain, But It's Still Real. ABC NEWS May 13 2005
- Chronic Pain: The Enemy Within. USA TODAY May 8 2005
- ABC News/USA Today/Stanford Pain Poll Results PR May 9 2005
- ICPSR ABC News/USA Today/Stanford Pain Poll April 2005 Codebook
- The Pain is in the Brain. STANFORD CENTER FOCUS Spring 2005
- The Right (and Wrong) Way to Treat Pain. TIME February 28 2005 (html / PDF)
- Your Pain, My Brain. PSYCHOLOGY TODAY July 2003
- The Pain Truth. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING May 2003