Pain Studies In The News
Painkilling overdose risk for infants when parents misjudge how much they should have
Source: Medical News Today
Parents who give young children prescription painkillers should take extra care to make sure they give just the right amount. The dose given to them by the pharmacy could be too high. Researchers recently identified the top 19 narcotic-containing drugs prescribed to children ages 0-36 months. They calculated the expected daily dose of the narcotic based on an estimate of the child's weight, age and gender. Then they compared that dosage with the actual amount of painkiller dispensed by the pharmacy. Results showed that 4.1 percent of all children received an overdose amount.
Demystifying meditation – brain imaging illustrates how meditation reduces pain
Source: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain, according to new research. Researchers report a big effect – about a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent.
Analysis of opioid prescription practices finds areas of concern: NIH report could lead to improved strategies for pain management
Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse
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 suggests potential opportunities for intervention aimed at reducing abuse of prescription opioids.
Women: painful periods increase sensitivity to pain throughout the month
May 5, 2011 Source: University of Oxford.
A new brain imaging study shows that women with painful periods show increased sensitivity to pain throughout their cycles, even when there is no background period pain. Researchers found that period pain is associated with differences in the way the brain processes pain, and that these differences persist throughout a woman's menstrual cycle.
Patients with a chronic condition benefit from ongoing relationship with care provider
May 1, 2011 Source: University of British Columbia
People with a chronic condition may find themselves taking on a more active role in maintaining or improving their own health if there is an ongoing relationship with a primary healthcare (PHC) provider, according to new research. One aspect of care that is especially important for individuals with chronic pain is having enough time to talk with their physician. Other important aspects are communication, patient-centered decision-making and being treated as a whole person.
Smoking linked to disease activity, severity in ankylosing spondylitis
April 29, 2011 Source: Internal Medicine News
Patients with ankylosing spondylitis who currently smoke are likely to be headed for increased disease activity and worse quality of life outcomes. The results of a cross-sectional, postal survey found that, compared with never smoking, current smoking is associated with higher levels of disease activity, worse functional status, greater pain and overall poorer quality of life.
Research uncovers an unknown side effect of a promising drug for acute chronic pain
April 27, 2011 Source: Children's National Medical Center
Researchers have discovered that resiniferatoxin, a drug that has shown early promise as an option for chronic, severe pain sufferers, may decrease the body's ability to fight off bacterial infections, particularly sepsis. The study sheds new light on the role of a pain receptor, transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1), and how medications designed to impact this receptor's relay of the pain sensation to the brain might work in humans.
Meditation may help the brain 'turn down the volume' on distractions
April 21, 2011 Source: Massachusetts General Hospital
The positive effects of mindfulness meditation on pain and working memory may result from an improved ability to regulate a crucial brain wave called the alpha rhythm, which is thought to "turn down the volume" on distracting information. Researchers report that modulation of the alpha rhythm in response to attention-directing cues was faster and significantly more enhanced among study participants in an 8 week mindfulness meditation program than in the control group.
How peppermint helps to relieve irritable bowel syndrome
April 19, 2011 Source: Internal Medicine News
Researchers have shown for the first time how peppermint helps to relieve irritable bowel syndrome, which affects up to 20% of the population. Their research shows that peppermint acts through a specific anti-pain channel called TRPM8 to reduce pain sensing fibers, particularly those activated by mustard and chili.
Immediate treatment can alleviate future back problems, research suggests
April 18, 2011 Source: University of Gothenburg
Immediate treatment by a physiotherapist, bypassing a waiting list, can reduce problems with recurring low back pain, reveals a new study. Study participants who received both the education and a physical exercise program showed the greatest improvement in perceived health, and patients with moderate symptoms benefitted most from exercise.
Illusion can halve the pain of osteoarthritis, scientists say
April 15, 2011 Source: University of Nottingham
A serendipitous discovery by academics shows that a simple illusion can significantly reduce -- and in some cases even temporarily eradicate -- arthritic pain in the hand. By tricking the brain into believing that the painful part of the hand is being stretched or shrunk, researchers were able to halve the pain felt by 85 per cent of sufferers they tested.
Researchers find Botox eases painful spinal headaches
April 14, 2011 Source: Mayo Clinic
A new case study finds Botox may offer new hope to patients suffering disabling low cerebrospinal fluid headaches. The successful treatment also offers new insight into Botox and headache treatment generally.
AANEM joint guideline documents scientific best practice
April 12, 2011 Source: American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine
In a new evidence based guideline, strong evidence shows the seizure drug pregabalin is effective in treating diabetic nerve pain and can improve quality of life. Doctors, however, should determine if it is appropriate for their patients on a case-by-case basis. In addition, the guideline notes that several other treatment options are probably effective and should be considered.
Study to improve management of cancer pain in African Americans
April 12, 2011 Source: Wayne State University
African American cancer patients experience higher pain levels, resulting from a lower feeling of control over pain and a need for help with pain management. Pain care must be highly individualized and responsive to the rapidly changing needs of patients and caregivers trying to manage pain and symptoms at home. This is especially important because patients and caregivers are increasingly responsible for daily pain and symptom management due to shorter hospital stays.
How grown children cope with pain may be traced back to the way their family copes with pain
April 11, 2011 Source: Springer
A new study found that parents' pain catastrophizing scores predicted their adult children's scores, irrespective of the level of actual pain experienced by the adult patients. Since during childhood parents serve as a model that children imitate, it is possible that children use social and communicative tools that they have observed in their parents, to manage their own distress in a similar context. Families may develop a specific cognitive style of dealing with pain.
More evidence painkillers lower colon cancer risk
April 8, 2011 Source: The American Journal of Gastroenterology
A new study adds to growing evidence that regular use of painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen may reduce a person's risk of developing colon or rectal cancers - sometimes by as much as 50 percent.
This latest report also shows that people with a family history of colon cancer - who are therefore at higher risk for the disease - also benefit from the pain relievers.
Patients on higher doses of prescription painkillers more apt to overdose
April 5, 2011 Source: Journal of the American Medical Association
Between 1999 and 2007, the rate of unintentional overdose death in the United States increased by 124 percent, largely because of increases in prescription opioid overdoses. A new study found that 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.
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. In a sample of twenty patients who had the surgery, investigators found that the area of the spine adjacent to the fusion was pretty healthy and didn't show any major degeneration ten years later. Patients also had good functional scores and maintenance of balance. No patients reported significant lower back pain.
Less than 1/3 of painful procedures for children in hospital associated with documented pain relief
April 4, 2011 Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal
Less than one-third of painful procedures performed on children in hospital were associated with documentation of a specific strategy to help manage pain, according to a new investigation. Of those who had some type of pain management, interventions included pharmacological (84.8% of patients), physical (26.1%) and psychological (25.0%) therapies; 32.3% had combined interventions.
New treatment for muscle pain focus of study
April 2, 2011 Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal
There's little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of manual release therapies. Chiropractor and researcher Conrad Tang is conducting a study to determine if manual release therapies, which are at the cutting edge of injury treatment and performance enhancement for elite athletes, can help regular folks with kneecap pain. He's looking for active people between the ages of 18 and 45 with patella pain femoral syndrome to participate in a free treatment program.
Study suggests a relationship between migraine headaches in children and a common heart defect
March 30, 2011 Source: AZ-TMJ
A new study suggests a connection between migraine headaches in children and a heart defect called patent foramen ovale (a common defect in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart), which affects 25% of people in the United States. Of the studied children who had migraines with aura, 50% also had a PFO; this is nearly double the PFO rate of the general population. However, only 25% of children who had migraines without aura had a PFO.
Study illuminates the 'pain' of social rejection
March 30, 2011 Source: University of Michigan
New research shows that physical pain and intense feelings of social rejection "hurt" in the same way. The study demonstrates that the same regions of the brain that become active in response to painful sensory experiences are activated during intense experiences of social rejection.
Weight loss surgery can significantly improve migraines, study finds
March 29, 2011 Source: April 2, 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.