When we heard there was a study about the connection between marital relations and chronic pain, we couldn’t help but think of classic TV shows where marriages are stressed by back pain. Archie and Edith Bunker from CBS’s All in the Family seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
The Rush University Medical Center study is showing how pain is as much an emotional and cognitive phenomenon, as it is a medical one. Dr. John Burns, a professor of behavioral sciences at Rush, is lead investigator on the study that measures how criticism from one’s spouse can affect chronic pain suffering. He talked to us about his work and the difference between chronic and acute pain.