Pain Studies In The News
Patients on higher doses of prescription painkillers more apt to overdose
April 5, 2011 Source: April 4, 2011 Source: National Institutes of Health Documents and Publications
Patients who are prescribed higher doses of opioid painkiller drugs (such as Oxycontin or Vicodin) are at increased risk of death from overdose than those given lower doses, a new study finds. Patients who received a higher maximum daily dose (100 milligrams/day or more) were more likely to overdose than those who received a lower maximum daily dose (between 1 and 20 mg/day).
Modern surgery for scoliosis has good long-term outcomes
April 5, 2011 Source: Hospital for Special Surgery
Teenagers who undergo spine fusion for scoliosis using the newest surgical techniques can expect to be doing well 10 years after surgery, according to a new study. Investigators also found that patients had good functional scores and maintenance of balance. No patients reported significant lower back pain.
Analysis of opioid prescription practices finds areas of concern: NIH report could lead to improved strategies for pain management
April 4, 2011 Source: National Institutes of Health Documents and Publications
An analysis of national prescribing patterns shows that more than half of patients who received an opioid prescription in 2009 had filled another opioid prescription within the previous 30 days. This report also suggested potential opportunities for intervention aimed at reducing abuse of prescription opioids.
Less than 1/3 of painful procedures for children in hospital associated with documented pain relief
April 4, 2011 Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal
Children in hospital experience multiple painful medical procedures daily. But according to a new article, less than one-third of children have documented pain management specifically for these painful procedures, although overall 78.1% of the children who underwent a painful procedure have some kind of pain management in the 24-hour period for either their condition or its treatment.
New treatment for muscle pain focus of study
April 2, 2011 Source: The Calgary Herald
So-called "manual release therapies" such as active release therapy, Graston technique and Kinesio Taping are all the rage. But there's little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of these therapies, says chiropractor Conrad Tang, who is seeking participants for a study to determine if manual release therapies, at the cutting edge of injury treatment and performance enhancement for elite athletes, can help regular folks with kneecap pain.
Study suggests a relationship between migraine headaches in children and a common heart defect
March 30, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
Roughly 15% of children suffer from migraines, and approximately one-third of these affected children have migraines with aura, a collection of symptoms that can include weakness, blind spots, and even hallucinations. Although the causes of migraines are unclear, a new study suggests a connection between migraine headaches in children and a heart defect called patent foramen ovale, which affects 25% of people in the U.S.
Weight loss surgery can significantly improve migraines, study finds
March 29, 2011 Source: Lifespan
Bariatric surgery may provide an added benefit to severely obese patients besides weight loss: it can also help alleviate the excruciating pain of migraine headaches, according to new research. Researchers say obese patients who had suffered painful and debilitating migraines before bariatric surgery reported improvements in headache frequency, severity and disability just six months after surgery. At that point, most patients had lost an average of 66.4 pounds.
New data show lasting effects and no serious adverse events with a percutaneous decompression procedure for lumbar spinal stenosis patients
March 25, 2011 Source: American Academy of Pain Medicine
Patients treated for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) with the mild decompression procedure (an alternative to open spinal surgery for many patients), reported sustained improvements in pain and mobility at one year and had no serious adverse events occur, according to the first multi-center one-year post-study follow-up of this patient cohort.
Acupuncture is equally effective with simulated needles
March 25, 2011 Source: Karolinska Institutet, AlphaGalileo Foundation
Simulated acupuncture sometimes referred to as placebo is just as beneficial as real acupuncture for treating nausea in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, according to a new study. Patients, who received only standard care including medications for nausea, felt significant more nausea than patients in both the acupuncture groups.
'Surgeon enthusiasm' helps explains regional variations in low back surgery
March 25, 2011 Source: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Surgeons in some areas are more likely to recommend surgery for low back problems and those differences in "surgeon enthusiasm" are a major factor driving regional variations in spinal surgery rates, suggests a new study. In contrast, variations in spinal surgery are unrelated to enthusiasm among patients and primary care doctors.
The Regional Analgesia Military Battlefield Pain Outcomes Study (RAMBPOS): a preliminary report
March 24, 2011 Source: American Academy of Pain Medicine
This ongoing 4-year longitudinal study of soldiers with severe combat-related limb injuries sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan examines the biopsychosocial phenomenology of their recovery and the effectiveness of early regional anesthesia on long-term outcomes. The study quantifies multiple longitudinal outcomes of post-injury pain, health-related quality of life, and psychological experiences (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder and depression).
New translational research reveals a useful model for studying chronic stress-induced hypersensitivity to pain
March 24, 2011 Source: American Academy of Pain Medicine
Results from a new study offer insight into the brain's circuitry involved in stress-induced hyperalgesia (SIH), which may help lead to a better understanding of the development and maintenance of chronic pain states in patients suffering with conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain.
Acupuncture for pain no better than placebo -- and not without harm, study finds
March 23, 2011 Source: Elsevier Health Sciences
Although acupuncture is commonly used for pain control, doubts about its effectiveness and safety remain. Investigators critically evaluated systematic reviews of acupuncture as a treatment of pain in order to explore this question. They conclude that numerous systematic reviews have generated little truly convincing evidence that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain, and serious adverse effects continue to be reported.
Vibration reduces pain in chronic sufferers, UF researchers find
March 23, 2011 Source: University of Florida Health Science Center
Rubbing or massaging is often an instinctive response to pain. Now researchers have found that another kind of touch, vibration, can also help reduce certain types of pain by more than 40 percent. The researchers are encouraged by the prospect that vibration therapies could bring pill-free pain relief to chronic sufferers.
For patients with back, neck pain, artificial disc replacement has cost, outcome advantages over standard fusion surgery
March 22, 2011 Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
When physical therapy and drugs fail to relieve back or neck pain, patients often turn to spinal fusion surgery, but two new studies show artificial disc replacement may give better long-term results at lower cost. Hospital costs for artificial disc replacement were 49 percent lower, and four years out from surgery, artificial disc patients were four times less likely to need additional surgery than those who had fusion operations.
Chronic pain stings Canadian economy: survey
March 21, 2011 Source: Postmedia News
One-third of all Canadians report taking sick days, reducing productivity, losing income or their jobs because of pain they experienced in the last three months, according to a new survey. Individually, pain costs afflicted people approximately $14,744 each year. Estimates for the direct health-care costs associated with pain have hit $6 billion per year and it's expected to hit $10 billion per year by 2025.
Traffic accidents linked to increased risk of chronic widespread pain
March 20, 2011 Source: Medical New Today
Individuals with poorer health or psychological issues may be prone to developing chronic widespread pain following a traumatic event. New research found that the onset of chronic pain was more often reported following a traffic accident than from other physically traumatic triggers.
Research finds ibuprofen linked to life-threatening potassium deficiency
March 19, 2011 Source: The Medical Journal of Australia
Painkillers containing ibuprofen can be linked to a rare condition that can result in potentially fatal potassium deficiency, a new case series has found. Researchers found that several patients, who were long-term regular users of ibuprofen for chronic pain, were diagnosed with hypokalaemia, a dangerously low level of potassium in the blood that can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, the breakdown of muscle fibres, fatigue, muscle weakness, spasms, and paralysis.
Study of patients on chronic opioid therapy finds likely non-adherent patients have increased healthcare costs, more hospital days
March 17, 2011 Source: Ameritox Ltd.
Patients undergoing opioid therapy for chronic pain who may not be following their prescription regimen have significantly higher overall healthcare costs. A new study analyzed managed care claims of more than 18 million patients, identifying a subset of pain patients on chronic opioid therapy. Patients on chronic opioid therapy who were likely non-adherent, as determined by urine drug testing results, had 14 percent higher healthcare costs and 35 percent more hospital days.
Young adults suffer more cancer pain, distress
March 14, 2011 Source: Internal Medicine News
Researchers recently administered the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale to 232 patients, including 113 who were younger than 55 years at the time of the survey. They found that young adult cancer patients reported more pain, higher pain severity, and more psychological distress than did older adults with the disease. Significantly more young adults reported problems with sleep difficulties, sadness, worry, irritability, and sexual concerns.
Painkiller prescribing varies dramatically among family physicians
March 14, 2011 Source: St. Michael's Hospital
Some physicians are prescribing opioids such as OxyContin 55 times as often as others, according to a new study. The study found most opioid-related deaths occur among patients treated by physicians who frequently prescribe opioids, suggesting doctors who prescribe a lot of opioids may not be doing so safely.
Popular anti-wrinkle, Botox, treatment offers little help in chronic migraine
March 9, 2011 Source: Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (BMJ)
Botox, is unlikely to offer much benefit in its most recently licensed use - as a treatment for chronic migraine - says a new Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB). DTB considers the published evidence on Botox's effectiveness as a treatment for chronic migraine limited and unconvincing. And, crucially, Botox leads to worsening of headache symptoms in around one in 10 people, with a similar proportion developing itching, rash, pain, stiffness and muscles spasms.
'Cross-talk' research may pave the way to understanding and controlling chronic pain
March 9, 2011 Source: University of California - Davis Health System
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a "cross-talk" between two major biological pathways that involve pain -- research that may pave the way to new approaches to understanding and controlling chronic pain. The newly published research reveals that analgesia mediated by inhibitors of the enzyme, soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), is dependent on a pain-mediating second messenger known as cyclic adenosinemonophosphate or cAMP.
New perspective diminishes racial bias in pain treatment
March 7, 2011 Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Years of research show black patients getting less treatment in the American health care system than their white counterparts, but a new study suggests that a quick dose of empathy helps close racial gaps in pain treatment. In the study, college students and nurses went to greater lengths to ease the pain of members of their own race.