Pain Studies In The News
Study of one million Americans shows obesity and pain linked
Source: Stony Brook University Medical Center
A clear association between obesity and pain was found in a new study of more than one million Americans. In comparison to individuals with low to normal weight, overweight persons reported 20 percent higher rates of pain. The percent increase of reported pain grew rapidly with the level of obesity.
Placebo effect: new study shows how to boost the power of pain relief, without drugs
February 3, 2012 Source: Association for Psychological Science.
A new study challenges the theory that the placebo effect is a high-level cognitive function. The authors reduced pain in two ways -- either by giving subjects a placebo, or a difficult memory task. But when they put the two together, the level of pain reduction that people experienced added up. There was no interference between them. This finding suggests that they rely on separate mechanisms.
Massages scientifically proven to help reduce pain
February 2, 2012 Source: Medical News Today.
Many athletes would attest to the fact that massages help in treating pain and speed up recovery, but now scientists have the evidence to go along with their testimonies. New research shows that massage dampened the expression of inflammatory cytokines in the muscle cells and promoted biogenesis of mitochondria, which are the energy-producing units in the cells.
Cancer patients' pain can be helped by psychosocial interventions
January 30, 2012 Source: Moffitt Cancer Center
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center, who teamed with colleagues at five universities around the United States, analyzed past studies of cancer-related pain reduction and found that psychosocial interventions can have a beneficial effect on cancer patients' pain severity. They also found that certain psychosocial interventions provide better pain management and are effective in reducing the degree to which pain related to cancer and its treatment interferes with patients' lives.
Sedentary lifestyle a problem for 2 in 5 adults with rheumatoid arthritis
January 27, 2012 Source: Wiley-Blackwell
While there is much evidence of the benefits of physical activity, a new study found that two in five adults (42%) with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were inactive. Taking measures to motivate RA patients to increase their physical activity will improve public health, according to the findings.
The cost of pain
January 27, 2012 Source: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
According to a new paper, low-income and minority patients are even less likely to receive guideline-recommended pain treatment in virtually all healthcare settings, even though minority patients often suffer more severe pain and physical impairments than non-minority patients and are more likely to perform potentially harmful physical work.
Recommendations for tablet computer use to avoid shoulder pain
January 26, 2012 Source: Medical News Today
The use of media tablet computers is associated with high head and neck flexion postures, thus increasing the risk for the development of neck and shoulder discomfort. A new study reports that head and neck posture during tablet computer use can be improved by placing the tablet higher to avoid low gaze angles and through the use of a case that provides optimal viewing angles.
New clinical trial guidelines for migraine
January 26, 2012 Source: Medical News Today
Experts from the International Headache Society (IHS) have developed new recommendations for conduct of acute and preventive migraine clinical trials. The new guidelines represent an expert consensus summary, and recommend a contemporary, standardized, and evidence-based approach to investigators conducting and reporting randomised, controlled migraine clinical trials.
Exercise may boost mood for some chronically ill
January 26, 2012 Source: Archives of Internal Medicine
Working out regularly may brighten the mood of people with chronic health problems like cancer, heart disease and back pain, according to the first sweeping look at previous research. At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week -- and vigorous -- at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week -- seemed to help the most.
Women report feeling pain more intensely than men, says study of electronic medical records
January 23, 2012 Source: Stanford University Medical Center
A study of electronic medical records suggests that women report more-intense pain than men in virtually every disease category, according to a new study. The search also unearthed previously unreported gender differences in pain intensity for particular diseases, such as acute sinusitis and cervical spine disorders.
New understanding of chronic pain
January 22, 2012 Source: The Scripps Research Institute
Using a new approach known as metabolomics, researchers may have uncovered a clue to the persistence of neuropathic pain. They found that DMS -- a small-molecule byproduct of cellular membranes in the nervous system -- is produced at abnormally high levels in the spinal cords of rats with neuropathic pain and appears to cause pain when injected. The findings suggest inhibiting this molecule may be a fruitful target for drug development.
Managing rheumatoid arthritis pain with muscle relaxants and neuromodulators
January 19, 2012 Source: Medical News Today
New research shows that neither the benzodiazepine agents, diazepam and triazolam, nor the non- benzodiazepine agent, zopiclone, reduce pain when taken for one to 14 days. However, even this short use was associated for both agents with drowsiness and dizziness. However, using neuromodulators, like oral nefopam, topical capsaicin and oromucosal cannabis, for one to seven days can reduce pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis better than placebo.
Convincing evidence that the combined oral contraceptive pill helps painful periods
January 19, 2012 Source: Medical News Today
The combined oral contraceptive pill appears to alleviate the symptoms of painful menstrual periods. A new study found that every third woman using the combined oral contraceptive went one step down on the VMS scale -- from severe pain to moderate pain -- which means they suffered less pain, improved their working ability and there was a decrease in the need for analgesics.
More about yoga for pain, and its harms
January 19, 2012. Pain Treatment Topics Monday,
Yoga, of which there are numerous types, is an increasingly popular mind-body intervention for select pain conditions. The modality consists of specific physical postures, breathing techniques, and mental concentration or meditation exercises. A number of clinical studies have examined the benefits of yoga as an adjunct for chronic pain management, but until now there has not been a meta-analysis of results examining the relief of pain and associated disability. While, in principle, yoga may be a useful supportive intervention for many pain-associated conditions, a closer look reveals that current research is largely inadequate and potential harms of yoga need cautious consideration.
Combo treatment helps heal overused, aching joints
January 17, 2012 Source: Mayo Clinic
In a recent study, researchers reported that the combination of tenotomy and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections produced significant improvement in patients with long-standing tendon injuries. Tenotomy uses repeated needlesticks to break up scar tissue in the tendon, prompting the body's own cells to begin the rebuilding process. PRP contains concentrated dose of healing platelet cells that exist in the patient's blood.
Advance toward treatment for painful flat feet
January 11, 2012 Source: University of East Anglia
A research team has made an advance in understanding the causes of adult-acquired flat feet -- a painful condition particularly affecting middle-aged women. In flat feet, the team noticed that the structure and composition of tendon specimens had changed and there was evidence of increased activity of some proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes can break down the constituents of the tibialis posterior tendon and weaken it -- causing the foot arch to fall.
Mixed results for migraine Tx, preventive efforts
January 9, 2012 Source: MedPage Today
A recent review has found that there is consistent evidence that acupuncture is beneficial in the treatment of acute migraine attacks and as prophylactic treatment, with fewer adverse effects than pharmacotherapy. In one study, traditional acupuncture appeared to have a significantly larger prophylaxis effect than sham acupuncture, but the absolute difference was small. An intervention promoting prophylactic drug treatment failed to reduce migraine sufferers' attack frequency or severity, another study indicated, while a separate trial of acupuncture found that it was significantly beneficial -- but not much more so than sham acupuncture.
Neck pain study reinforces use of chiropractic, other conservative options
January 6, 2012 Source: American Chiropractic Association
A new study finds spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and exercise more effective at relieving neck pain than pain medication. The research reinforces the use of conservative care options like chiropractic as a first line of defense against pain. After 12 weeks, about 57 percent of those who met with a doctor of chiropractic and 48 percent who exercised reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group.
Who benefits most from surgery for herniated discs?
January 4, 2012 Source: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Some patient subgroups see greater improvement after surgery for herniated spinal discs relative to nonoperative outcomes -- notably married patients whose symptoms are getting worse, reports a new study. In this subgroup, the treatment effect of surgery was about 18 points on a 100-point disability rating scale: a 38-point improvement with surgery versus a 20-point improvement with nonsurgical treatment). The treatment effect for single patients with stable symptoms was about 8 points: 35 points with surgery versus 27 points without surgery.