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Dr. Sean Mackey: Tools to Reduce & Manage Pain

Huberman Lab

Scicomm Media

Science, Life Sciences, Health & Fitness

4.923.3K Ratings

🗓️ 15 January 2024

⏱️ 177 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


In this episode, my guest is Dr. Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine and Neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine. His clinical and research efforts focus on using advanced neurosciences, patient outcomes, biomarkers and informatics to treat pain. We discuss what pain is at the level of the body and mind, pain thresholds, and the various causes of pain. We also discuss effective protocols for controlling and reducing pain, including the use of heat and cold, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, nutrition, and supplementation. We also discuss how pain is influenced by our emotions, stress and memories, and practical tools to control one’s psychological perception of pain. And we discuss pain medications, including the controversial use of opioids and the opioid crisis. This episode will help people understand, manage, and control their pain as well as the pain of others. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman AeroPress: https://aeropress.com/huberman Levels: https://levels.link/huberman BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/huberman InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Dr. Sean Mackey (00:02:11) Sponsors: AeroPress, Levels & BetterHelp (00:06:13) Pain, Unique Experiences, Chronic Pain (00:13:05) Pain & the Brain (00:16:15) Treating Pain, Medications: NSAIDs & Analgesics (00:22:46) Inflammation, Pain & Recovery; Ibuprofen, Naprosyn & Aspirin (00:28:51) Sponsor: AG1 (00:30:19) Caffeine, NSAIDs, Tylenol (00:32:34) Pain & Touch, Gate Control Theory (00:38:56) Pain Threshold, Gender (00:44:53) Pain in Children, Pain Modulation (Pain Inhibits Pain) (00:53:20) Tool: Heat, Cold & Pain; Changing Pain Threshold (00:59:53) Sponsor: InsideTracker (01:00:54) Tools: Psychology, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Catastrophizing (01:08:29) Tool: Hurt vs. Harmed?, Chronic Pain (01:12:38) Emotional Pain, Anger, Medication (01:20:43) Tool: Nutrition & Pain; Food Sensitization & Elimination Diets (01:28:45) Visceral Pain; Back, Chest & Abdominal Pain (01:34:02) Referenced Pain, Neuropathic Pain; Stress, Memory & Psychological Pain (01:40:23) Romantic Love & Pain, Addiction (01:48:57) Endogenous & Exogenous Opioids, Morphine (01:53:17) Opioid Crisis, Prescribing Physicians (02:02:21) Opioids & Fentanyl; Morphine, Oxycontin, Methadone (02:07:44) Kratom, Cannabis, CBD & Pain; Drug Schedules (02:18:12) Pain Management Therapies, Acupuncture (02:22:19) Finding Reliable Physicians, Acupuncturist (02:26:36) Chiropractic & Pain Treatment; Chronic Pain & Activity (02:31:35) Physical Therapy & Chronic Pain; Tool: Pacing (02:36:35) Supplements: Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C, Creatine (02:42:25) Pain Management, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Biofeedback (02:48:32) National Pain Strategy, National Pain Care Act (02:54:05) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

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Welcome to the Huberman Lab Podcast, where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life.


I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.


My guest today is Dr. Sean Mackie. Dr. Sean Mackie is a medical doctor that is he treats


patients as well as a PhD meaning he runs a laboratory he is the chief of the division of pain medicine and a professor of both anesthesia and neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Today we discuss what is pain. Most


of us are familiar with the notion of pain from having a physical injury or some


sort of chronic pain or a headache. Today Dr. Mackey makes clear what the origins of pain are,


both in the nervous system and outside the nervous system, that is the interactions between the


brain and the body that give rise to this thing that we call pain.


Indeed we discuss the critical link between physical pain and emotional pain and


how altering one's perception of emotional or physical pain can often change the other.


We also discuss some of the changes in the nervous system that occur when we experience pain


and how that can give rise to chronic pain.


We also, of course, cover different methods


to reduce pain safely.


And those methods include behavioral tools,


psychological tools, nutrition, supplementation, and of course, prescription drugs.


We discuss the intimate relationship between temperature that is heat and cold and pain and pain relief.


So if you're interested in the use of heat or cold to modulate


pain, that conversation ought to be of interest as well. We also touch on some


highly controversial topics such as opioids. Opioids are a substance that your body naturally makes, but of course many people are familiar with exogenous opioids, that is opioids that are available as drugs and the so-called opioid crisis.


Dr. Mackey makes very clear


which specific clinical circumstances


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