Pain Reexamined The opioid epidemic has forced Americans to take a new look at how we treat chronic pain, physically, mentally and as a culture.
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Pain Reexamined

A new look at how we manage pain

Ronald Mutyaba, an auto mechanic, at his home in Kampala, Uganda. Mutyaba is HIV positive and has developed Karposi sarcoma, a type of cancer that often affects people with immune deficiencies. He is holding a bottle of the liquid morphine that nurses from the nonprofit group Hospice Africa have prescribed to help control the pain caused by his illlness. Nurith Aizenman/NPR hide caption

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Nurith Aizenman/NPR

A Sip Of Morphine: Uganda's Old-School Solution To A Shortage Of Painkillers

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Chris Nickels for NPR

How The Brain Shapes Pain And Links Ouch With Emotion

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Nabia Drammeh, 27, a nurse, talks with Maram Ceesay, and her granddaughter, Awa at the Brufut Minor Health Center outside of Banjul, the capital of the Gambia. Awa's mother passed away during childbirth leaving Maram to look after her. The 2-year-old is being treated for pneumonia. Samantha Reinders for NPR hide caption

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Samantha Reinders for NPR

Fighting Pain Without Opioids: How One Nurse In The Gambia Does It

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Sometimes doctors rapidly taper their chronic pain patients' opioid doses. Now a federal agency recommends against this. Douglas Sacha/Getty Images hide caption

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Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

Don't Force Patients Off Opioids Abruptly, New Guidelines Say, Warning Of Severe Risks

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Lori Pinkley of Kansas City, Mo., has struggled with chronic pain since she was a teenager. She has found relief from low doses of naltrexone, a drug that at higher doses is used to treat addiction. Alex Smith/KCUR hide caption

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Alex Smith/KCUR

In Tiny Doses, An Addiction Medication Moonlights As A Treatment For Chronic Pain

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Tracy Lee for NPR

How To Teach Future Doctors About Pain In The Midst Of The Opioid Crisis

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Grace Heejung Kim for NPR

Women May Be More Adept Than Men At Discerning Pain

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According to the latest NPR-IBM Watson Health Poll exercise, including stretching and yoga, is popular among younger people as a way to relieve pain. Daniel Grill/Getty Images/Tetra images RF hide caption

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Daniel Grill/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Though not the same as actually jumping into the waves, a virtual reality program like this one that let a headset-wearing patient "swim with dolphins" was enough of an immersive distraction to significantly reduce pain, a study found. Courtesy of Cedars Sinai/Screenshot by NPR hide caption

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Courtesy of Cedars Sinai/Screenshot by NPR

Got Pain? A Virtual Swim With Dolphins May Help Melt It Away

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Robyn Adcock (left), a University of California, San Francisco pain relief specialist, gently guides Jessica Greenfield to acupressure points on her son's foot and leg that have helped relieve his chronic pain. Alison Kodjak/NPR hide caption

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Alison Kodjak/NPR

Pain Rescue Team Helps Seriously Ill Kids Cope In Terrible Times

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Surgeons are starting to reduce their opioid prescribing habits a little. But they still prescribe a lot of pain pills in the midst of an opioid addiction crisis. Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61 hide caption

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Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

Jeannine sorts through a binder of writing assignments from her therapy. In keeping a journal about her past experiences with pain, she noticed that the pain symptoms began when she was around 8 — a time of escalating family trauma at home. Jessica Pons for NPR hide caption

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Jessica Pons for NPR

Can You Reshape Your Brain's Response To Pain?

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