On this episode of the Healthy Wealthy and Smart Podcast, Dr. Cheryl Keller Capone joins me to discuss how she navigated her experience with chronic pain. Dr. Cheryl Keller Capone is an Associate Research Professor in Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State University. She is currently using genomics and DNA sequencing technologies to study blood cell development with an overall research goal of understanding gene regulation in mammals. In total, she has over 23 years of scientific research experience in several different fields, including muscle development, neuroscience, and mitochondrial DNA forensics. She is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a recreational triathlete.
In this episode, we discuss:
-Cheryl’s long journey with chronic pain
-The catalyst for Cheryl’s road to recovery
-Implementing the biopsychosocial model and functional movement to combat persistent pain
-Empowering advice for those experiencing persistent pain
-And so much more!
Cheryl advises practitioners to remain humble about their ability to diagnosis and treat patients who suffer from persistent pain. From her experience, she states, “I wasn’t expecting any sort of specific diagnoses. In fact, I was very frustrated by the fact that individual providers were focusing on one thing or another and trying to pin it down to one particular structural cause.” After many disappointments, Dr. Keller Capone was exposed to a practitioner who effectively communicated his humility and willingness to try different treatments and she found that, “This was a very refreshing response to me.”
To those who are suffering from chronic pain, Cheryl recommends participating in activities you find joyful and meaningful. She found that making small improvements in these activities helped prove to herself that, “This is not permanent, changes can be made. It helped me with hope.”
The most empowering belief system that helped guide Cheryl was one of self-ownership, she stressed to herself, “I was going to have to own this. I was going to have to own my pain and own my recovery and be responsible.”
With persistent pain, it is important to remember that while the journey may have ups and downs, there are no barriers to your recovery. Cheryl advises, “There is most likely a path forward for everyone… Take ownership of your own path.”
For more information on Cheryl:
Dr. Cheryl Keller Capone received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Penn State University in 1999. Her graduate research focused on muscle development and differentiation, and during this time was awarded the Paul Berg Prize in Molecular Biology, the Roberts Graduate Fellowship, and the Frederick J. Wedler Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.
After graduate school, she transitioned to the field of neuroscience where she studied the molecular biology of GABAA receptors in mammals, followed by a year in industry where she worked in the field of mitochondrial DNA forensics.
In 2009, Cheryl returned to Penn State University, and is currently studying blood cell development with an overall research goal of understanding molecular mechanisms of gene regulation in mammals. She also has extensive experience in genomic technologies and methodologies, including DNA sequencing and data analysis.
Outside of the lab, Cheryl is also a former collegiate runner, who became interested in strength training and movement following a long injury history and many years of chronic pain. This experience led to her interest in pain science as well as a certification as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. When not in the lab or working with clients, Cheryl enjoys strength training, running, hiking, swimming, cycling and spending time with her husband and son in State College, PA.
Resources discussed on this show:
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