The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. Although famous for her colorful self-portraits and associations with celebrities Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky, less known is the fact that she had lifelong chronic pain. Frida Kahlo developed poliomyelitis at age 6 years, was in a horrific trolley car accident in her teens, and would eventually endure numerous failed spinal surgeries and, ultimately, limb amputation. She endured several physical, emotional, and psychological traumas in her lifetime, yet through her art, she was able to transcend a life of pain and disability. Of her work, her self-portraits are conspicuous in their capacity to convey her life experience, much of which was imbued with chronic pain. Signs and symptoms of chronic neuropathic pain and central sensitization of nociceptive pathways are evident when analyzing her paintings and medical history. This article uses a narrative approach to describe how events in the life of this artist contributed to her chronic pain. The purpose of this article is to discuss Frida Kahlo's medical history and her art from a modern pain sciences perspective, and perhaps to increase our understanding of the pain experience from the patient's perspective.
I’ve met some exceptional people online who have helped educate me about chronic pain and helped with my pain management. I don’t hesitate to write and connect with people but only if I have a question that I haven’t been [...]
Unfortunately, it is all too common for the professional not to listen to the patient and not to believe in their pain. The focus on the ‘relief of suffering’ has almost got lost in modern medicine’s search for diagnosis and cure. It is hard enough to be coping with pain, but terrifying not to be believed when one goes for help. It should not take months of suffering and inadequate (or no) pain relief before a patient finally gets to a pain clinic.
WARNING: This post contains serious attitude as a result of 10 years of personal experience with chronic pain. The post also contains my personal no nonsense view of living with a chronic illness and (much required) rotten sense of humour, [...]
36 minutes of brilliant pelvic pain and awareness conversation with two very experienced professionals. Thank you Fem Fusion and Dr Susie Gronski. Excerpt from Men & Women: Pelvic Pain Relief + Your First PT [...]
You’ve all heard the impact Prof Lorimer Moseley made on my pain journey – well my diagnosis actually. If it weren’t for him I wonder how much longer I would have been left searching for the reason behind (pardon the [...]
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Forgive my bossiness but this post comes from a desperate experience that I lived for 4.5 years. That’s a long time for someone with increasing chronic pain levels and not much hope. I felt isolated and alone in a very [...]
But Dr Echenberg found something and shared it with me during our last skype meet: He informed me about three New York based physical therapists; Elan Schneider, Rob DiLillo, and Greg Hullstrung, and their project retrainpain.org
A new DVD resource, Healing the Pain ‘Down There’: A Guide for Females with Persistent Genital and Sexual Pain
There have been many times during my years of chronic pain where I wondered, ‘Why didn’t I know that?’. Usually, the information is quite basic and I feel as though I’ve been deprived by never knowing something so crucial and [...]