Chronic Pain – Is it All in Their Head? – Daniel J. Clauw M.D

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Dr. Dan Clauw, the Director of the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, discusses pain that stems from your brain. He presents an overview of what is currently known about the underlying causes of chronic pain and discusses the rationale behind a variety of different treatments for chronic pain. He also shares information about a self-management tool called Fibroguide ( that has been shown to be helpful in improving the symptoms and function of people with chronic pain.


Scott Carlon says:

The government , with their WAR on drugs, and the chronic drug abusers. Have made life miserable for those of us with chronic pain. The governments were under pressure to put an end to the deaths associated with opiates. Threatening doctors medical license if they are thought to be over prescribing opioids. Therefor, the medical community is forced to err on the side of extreme caution, or risk their ability to practice medicine. So, the deaths continue to increase, because people trying to cope with their pain, seek out additional remedies seeking to manage their pain. When you are in pain, your ability to think clearly is diminished, and when the medical community is actively limiting your ability to obtain the needed medication, people will seek out other sources. Patients having their opioids medically reduced turn to the street, where the availability, potency and purity is often in question, death continue to rise. Ask any methadone withdrawal surviver if they ever contemplated suicide and you would find, they all did. To think its just the medication causing all the death is overly simplistic. I could go on and on but let me conclude, the government’s attempt to fix the drug problem is in reality counterproductive and is killing as many as it saves.

Lady Great says:

This stupid motherfucker, I hope your Mother gets chronic pain and I bet you wouldn't be singing this tune then. You obviously don't know anything about treating pain.

archangele1 says:

This guy is a total idiot! I have chronic pain due to a birth defect in my
lower spine. I actually handle pain better then almost anyone I know.
But the part of my back that is the issue, a level 2 slippage of the
S0-L5 and being born without a disk there, causes my sciatica to be brutal.
Opioids are THE only things that have ever worked. They do not take away
all pain, but reduce it enough that I can live a relatively normal life. It always
amazes me how so called experts have all the solutions but have
never had to personally deal with chronic pain. This guy is a total quack.

Samrat Halder says:

Nice video. I like tgis one as well –

kenny ross says:

Sounds like fixing sleep issues is the answer to fixing chronic pain.

Iam ThePoliticalHack says:

Fibro also known as nothing actually wrong. Spinal problems that can be seen on cts MRI's and Xrays= real pain

Kevin Harsley says:

This guy is full of it! It's not in the head!

Curt Ray says:


BUYCBD ninja says:

No. Chronic pain can be hell. We have sought out all kinds of medicinal herbs and natural therapies. My wife uses CBD and Kratom to help with her chronic pain. We get our kratom at and our CBD at charlotesweb CBD.

Park Fowler says:

Phenomenal physician. Thank you Dr Clauw.

Mutleytech says:

So coming from myself a chronic pain guy with a good steady job thanks to painkillers… Is it all in my head as apposed to "their head" as the title states? How can it be their head? Or should it be their heads plural? Of course it's in my head because if it wasn't I certainly would not feel it. Right?

Marsha Marsha Marsha says:


Artin Entezarjou says:

Could you please supply me with a reference for the fact that 70% of women have endometriosis while only 5-10% have pelvic pain? As far as I've managed to find, 1-2% of women have endometriosis.

Angela Siegfried says:

The fact that we treat pain is not a bad thing! In Russia child cancer patients must go without any pain care. Is that what we want?!?

Angela Siegfried says:

So much misinformation here! The only reason why it looks like we prescribe more opioids is because doctors must write a prescription for opioids every month (and now in some states every 7 days if acute pain) where as in other countries write that same prescription every three months.

Angela Siegfried says:

Except there isn't an prescription opioid epidemic; there is an illicit opioid (heroin, fentanyl) epidemic.

Ave s says:

We have effect drugs called opiates/opioids! Obviously you’re NOT an expert! Chronic Pain can kill! It definitely Can ruin lives! Not ALL people should be doing everything! We don’t except our pain to be completely gone just have a better quality of life. Remember chronic pain patients are usually on disability and don’t have the money for theses alternative therapies! #CRPS #MCTD #HemicranialContinua #FM #ME

Julian Man says:

Lol everyone has chronic pain these days haha

brssA mLy says:

Por favor podran hablar español.

Pisacha Nation says:

Abigail Randall ~ Research SPIRULINA. It is a dietary supplement that comes from blue-green algae, and contains vitamin D as well as vitamin A, all of the B vitamins, C, K, Calcium, Magnesium, essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids, more proteins than beef, pork, or chicken, and a host of other vitamins and minerals that are good for you. It has been called a "Super-Food" by the World Health Organization (WHO). I started researching online for vitamins & minerals that will (hopefully) stop my hair from falling out, (one of many symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and stumbled upon Spirulina. I tried Biotin that is supposed to be good for hair, skin, and fingernails, and it did nothing. If you decide to try it, make sure you know where it comes from. You don't want Spirulina that is grown in China or India as they have been known to grow it in areas that contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides. The purest Spirulina is grown, processed, and packaged in Hawaii. I purchased a bottle of Nutrex (brand) Hawaiian Spirulina, 1,000 mg, 360 tablets per bottle so I only have to take 3 tabs per day. I bought it on Amazon for $35.00 + tax & shipping. It's a 3 month supply. Nutrex has been providing Spirulina for over 35 years, and I have peace of mind that it is safe and pure. It comes in both tablet and powder form (for adding to smoothies). It arrived faster than expected, and I began taking it 6 days ago, and I've already noticed the quantity of hair I have been losing has declined. Some reviewers on Amazon have stated it reduced the severity of their chronic pain. I haven't noticed that yet, as I have been focusing my attention on the hair loss issue. I will start paying more attention to my chronic pain as well. It is non-GMO, vegan, and recommended as a source of protein for people who are vegetarian or vegan.

Pisacha Nation says:

A. Smith ~ Dr. Clauw is a researcher at University of Michigan Hospital. He doesn't treat people with Fibromyalgia Syndrome/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyolitis (aka: FMS/CFS/ME). Please, don't wish severe chronic pain on him. I have had severe chronic pain for 29 years. I was diagnosed with FMS 27 years ago by a Rheumatologist, after being misdiagnosed by GP's as having " early osteoarthritis." At the time I acquired this, I thought I had Cancer…..that's how bad the pain was. It's no wonder one of Jack Kevorkian's assisted suicides was a 40 year old woman who, it was later believed, had Fibromyalgia. She likely had been to many doctors, who couldn't physically find anything wrong with her. I know how she felt. Suicide entered my mind numerous times, and I wouldn't wish this on anyone, not even Dr. Clauw. If you noticed at the beginning of his lecture, he showed a list of sponsors which were all pharmaceutical companies.
When I was finally diagnosed with FMS, my doctor started me on Vicodin ES (Norco)7.5/325 and Elavil 10 mg. I am now on Norco 10/325 and Elavil 150 mg, and Restoril 15 mg. These drugs allowed me to keep pushing myself and continue working another 25 years until I reached an age where I didn't have it in me to push myself Ashmore, and stopped working in 2011 and applied for disability in 2012. I believe he is saying that doctors need to treat those areas in our brains that are amplifying the neurological pain we all feel, instead of just masking the pain with opioids. He is not saying our pain isn't real, he's saying treat the source, not just the symptoms.
I have recently come to the conclusion that my diagnosis of FMS is incorrect, based on the severe and different symptoms I experienced prior to going to my Rheumatologist the first time, and multiple symptoms that have come and gone, as well as ones I still have that I didn't KNOW we're symptoms, and never mentioned them to him. I believe, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is what has tortured me for 29 years.Unlike FMS and CFS, there is blood testing that can be done to confirm it, or rule it out entirely. Right now, I am waiting on info. about the blood tests and where to send the blood samples to, since I have been told there is only one lab that currently does these tests in the U.S. I have a step-daughter near Sacramento CA who has ME and is mailing the lab & testing info to me.

jerry buehler says:

This guy doesn't want to lose his credentials and has sided on the government side . I have been on over 360 MME's of opioids since 2006 and have actually been taking less because my back pain isn't as bad. I haven't built up any tolerance and the withdrawals are flu like symptoms that either I put up with the withdrawals or the pain which was a no brainer. I have significant pain and opioids are the only thing that are helping me. I am a Unicorn and their are a lot out there like me !! If they continue to reduce my medicine I will not make it ! I hope they change their rules pretty quick !

M W says:

Just pushing more meds and dependency.
In our world today, the push is for "if you think you're the opposite sex", it's a fact, but if you think you have pain it's a some kind of mind problem. BACKWARDS! Come Lord Jesus!!!

Jacket Heya says:

Ok Dr Clauw I don't know what to think of your amplifier turned up in your brain theory. I do know that we have nerves running all over our bodies. Does a damaged nerve show up in diagnostic image? How about if someone has an actual damaged nerve in their back? The nerve damage would be in the back not in their head..

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