Pain Studies In The News
New survey shows many chronic pain sufferers are reluctant to discuss their pain with health care providers
More than one-third of chronic pain sufferers (36%) have simply learned to live with their often debilitating pain and may be reluctant to speak with a health care provider about their condition, according to a new survey of women and men with chronic pain. Only 57 percent of respondents agreed that their health care provider understood their symptoms and nearly a quarter (23%) felt their provider was dismissive of their chronic pain.
Psychological intervention can change brain function and pain processing
Source: Elsevier Global Medical News
Recent brain-imaging studies show that psychological interventions can alter how the brain processes pain, thereby reducing patients' perception of pain. One study used functional fMRI to show that cognitive behavioral therapy can alter dysfunctional neural circuitry associated with chronic pain. Another study showed that under hypnosis, painful stimuli failed to elicit cerebral activity in the pain network.
Less-potent opiates may be safer for long-term use
People taking opioid painkillers for extended periods of time are at greater risk of problems if they have been prescribed more potent forms of these drugs, new research shows. The research also found that people on long-term opioid therapy were more likely to visit the emergency room or to require medical care for overdose, withdrawal, or intoxication if they had been diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder previously, or if they reported having headaches or back pain.
Researchers at the University of Granada associate trigger points with shoulder injury
October 1, 2010 Source: Granada University
25 out of 1,000 visits to the family doctor are related to shoulder pain. New research on chronic impingement syndrome reveals that excessive activation of specific neck and shoulder muscles during daily life or while playing sports is the cause of a high number of shoulder injuries. The pattern of the pain originating in these muscles coincides with most of the symptoms suffered by patients attending health care centers for this type of problem.
Unmask abdominal pain masqueraders with careful assessment
September 30, 2010 Source: Elsevier Global Medical News
Abdominal pain is one of the most common complaints among patients presenting in the emergency department, but the cause often is unrelated to abdominal processes, even when the patient believes otherwise. It is important to identify abdominal pain "masqueraders" using a case-based approach, in order to avoid misdiagnosis.
Violence towards home care staff drastically increases long term pain in caregivers
September 28, 2010 Source: Medical News Today
Abuse or even repeated violence displayed by residents and families of residents out of frustration or personal issues causes unnecessary detriment to professionals that are simply trying to help, according to a new study. Almost half of the 920 caregivers who responded said that they had been assaulted at least once during the preceding three months by a resident or a resident's visitor and 25% experienced a brush with violence more than once or several times.
Understanding the complex relationship between smoking and increased pain
September 27, 2010 Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists
A new review shows smokers in pain treatment programs more frequently reported pain and greater functional impairment compared with nonsmokers. Smokers also were less likely to be employed compared with nonsmokers who were being treated for low back pain. Smokers who used more than 10 cigarettes a day had significantly higher opioid use after third molar extraction.
Depression worsens knee osteoarthritis pain and disability
September 27, 2010 Source: International Medicine News
Clinical depression plays a significant and potentially important role in the progression of pain and disability in patients with knee osteoarthritis, based on a review of more than 3,000 people who were followed for 2 years. Based on the 2-year follow-up, patients averaged an annual, independent 0.02-point increase in their Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) pain score for each 1-point increase in their depression score at baseline.
Acute pain is eased with the touch of a hand, study shows
September 24, 2010 Source: Cell Press
There may be a very good reason that people naturally clutch their hand after receiving an injury. A new report shows that self-touch offers significant relief for acute pain under experimental conditions. The researchers suggest that the relief comes from a change in the brain's representation of the rest of the body.
Anger amplifies clinical pain in women with and without fibromyalgia; sensitizing effect of anger and sadness not limited to fibromyalgia patients
September 23, 2010 Source: Wiley-Blackwell
Fibromyalgia (FM) is thought to involve heightened pain sensitivity to a variety of psychophysical and emotional stimuli, with negative emotions believed to be experienced more strongly in FM patients than in the general population. A new study examined the effects of experimentally-induced anger and sadness on self-reported clinical and experimentally-induced pain in women with and without FM. Results show that anger and sadness amplified pain equally in both groups.
The TEDS Report - Characteristics of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Reporting Primary Abuse of Prescription Pain Relievers: 1998 and 2008
September 23, 2010 Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
A recent TEDS report reveals that substance abuse treatment admissions reporting primary pain reliever abuse increased from 18,300 in 1998 to approximately 105,680 in 2008; admissions for primary abuse of prescription pain relievers in 2008 were more than 3 times as likely as those in 1998 to be aged 18 to 24; and admissions for primary pain reliever abuse in 2008 were more likely than those in 1998 to be unemployed (41.1 vs. 28.6 percent).
Holistic and integrative approaches can be effective at treating fibromyalgia pain and fatigue
September 23, 2010 Source: Greenwich Hospital
Patients with fibromyalgia pain and fatigue who don't respond to medication and people who don't want the side effects of these medications often look for natural ways to relieve their symptoms. A holistic approach to fibromyalgia looks at hormones, stress, and inflammation levels as well as nutrient deficiencies in the diet.
Inflammation causes some postsurgical neuropathies
September 22, 2010 Source: Mayo Clinic
A new study found that nerve inflammation may cause the pain, numbness and weakness following surgical procedures that is known as postsurgical neuropathy. The development of postsurgical neuropathies is typically attributed to compression or stretching of nerves during surgery. This new research shows that, in some cases, the neuropathy is actually caused by the immune system attacking the nerves and is potentially treatable with immunosuppressive drugs.
High-dose aspirin reduces pain for severe headache and migraine
September 21, 2010 Source: University of California, San Francisco
An inexpensive, hundred-year-old therapy for pain – aspirin – is effective in high doses for the treatment of severe headache and migraine caused by drug withdrawal, according to a new study. Study participants were administered aspirin through an IV and 25 percent of the time they reported a significant reduction in pain. Participants reported a more modest pain reduction about 40 percent of the time.
Popular supplements to combat joint pain do not work, study finds
September 17, 2010 Source: BMJ-British Medical Journal
Two popular supplements taken by millions of people around the world to combat joint pain do not work, finds new research. These supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin, are either taken on their own or in combination to reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis in hips and knees. In the last decade, GPs and rheumatologists have increasingly prescribed glucosamine and chondroitin to their patients.
Research uncovers unnecessary growth in tests and treatments targeting back pain
September 17, 2010 Source: Bonati Spine Institute
Studies are reporting an unnecessary growth in tests and treatments targeting back pain. A recent article documents the enormous growth in tests and treatments targeting back pain including a 629% increase in Medicare expenditures for epidural steroid injections, a 423% increase in expenditures for opioids for back pain, and a 220% increase in spinal fusion surgery rates. Despite the dramatic increase in interventions, there is little evidence that patients are reaping the benefits.
Newly published data show occipital nerve stimulation may be a promising new therapy for chronic migraine
September 17, 2010 Source: Medtronic, Inc.
Data from a multicenter, prospective, randomized, blinded, feasibility trial published today show promise for occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) for treating medically refractory chronic migraines and support the need for further controlled study of the treatment. Of the patients who received adjustable stimulation, 39 percent obtained at least a 50 percent decrease in headache days per month or at least a three-point decrease in overall pain intensity from baseline.
National survey of physicians reveals common misperceptions concerning misuse and abuse of opioids in light of new government statistics
September 16, 2010 Source: American Pain Foundation
According to a new survey of physicians, a majority believe that only a small number of their patients misuse or abuse opioids obtained from a prescription. In addition, more than half believe that most cases of opioid abuse do not involve tampering with the medication's delivery system. But other published data show that 80% of prescription medication abusers seeking treatment chew, snort or use intravenous administration of oral medicines to attain an immediate high.
Link between arthritis pain reliever and cardiovascular events discovered
September 15, 2010 Source: University of California - Davis - Health System
A research team has discovered a novel mechanism as to why the long-term, high-dosage use of the arthritis pain medication Vioxx led to heart attacks and strokes. Using metabolomic profiling to analyze murine (rodent) plasma, the scientists discovered that Vioxx causes a dramatic increase in a regulatory lipid that could be a major contributor to the heart attacks and strokes associated with high levels of the drug and other selective COX-2 inhibitors, known as "coxibs."
New study reports ginger effective for muscle pain relief
September 15, 2010 Source: American Pain Society
Released: 9/15/2010 12:00 PM EDT
Daily doses of raw or heat-treated ginger are effective for relieving muscle pain following strenuous exercise, according to new research. In one study, four to 36 weeks of daily ginger doses (30 to 500 mg.) achieved reductions in knee pain from osteoarthritis.
Study probes impact of fibromyalgia pain on adolescent activity
September 15, 2010 Source: American Pain Society
Adolescents with fibromyalgia who are physically active report lower levels of pain and disability, according to a recent study. However, the majority of adolescents with juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome do not engage in physical activities and aerobic exercise at levels recommended by their physicians. Low levels of exercise in these patients are troubling to clinicians who view exercise as a major component for improved pain management.
Giving aspirin via IV is safe and effective for severe headache
September 14, 2010 Source: American Academy of Neurology
A new study shows that aspirin, given intravenously (IV), may be a safe and effective option for people hospitalized for severe headache or migraine undergoing medication withdrawal. The study found that more than 25 percent of the time, people experienced a 3-point or greater reduction in pain scores, downgrading the headache from severe to moderate, moderate to mild or from mild to no headache. About 40 percent of the time, participants reported a moderate effect.
Long-term results for fusion surgery for high-grade spondylolisthesis
September 14, 2010 Source: University of Gothenburg. AlphaGalileo Foundation.
A group of children who underwent fusion surgery for spondylolisthesis in the lumbar spine 30 years ago showed a clear reduction in back pain when followed up seven years later, according to a new study. Patients also describe low levels of pain, good function and high quality of life as adults despite the position of the back.
Study in Journal of Palliative Medicine finds opioid use to relieve pain and suffering at end of life is safe in hospital-at-home setting
September 11, 2010 Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Patients who choose to spend their last days at home with specialized care and monitoring can safely be given opioids to control pain and other symptoms without reducing survival time, according to a new study. The authors report that opioid use is both safe and effective and, in fact, patients who received a greater than two-fold increase in their initial dose had a longer median survival (22 days) than those who received lower doses (9 days).
Music on prescription could help treat emotional and physical pain
September 10, 2010 Source: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
New research into how music conveys emotion could benefit the treatment of depression and the management of physical pain. The ultimate aim is to develop a comprehensive mathematical model that explains music's ability to communicate different emotions. This could make it possible, within a few years, to develop computer programs which identify pieces of music that will influence a individual's mood.
Romantic partner may play role in reducing vulvovaginal pain
September 9, 2010 Source: University of Montreal
A new investigation has found that male partners who express greater support, attention and sympathy to women's chronic vulvovaginal pain may trigger more pain, but also increase sexual satisfaction in female partners. While a more concerned attitude in partners is linked to greater sexual satisfaction, an overly concerned partner may lead a woman to avoid sexual intercourse or exacerbate her pain by increasing her anxiety, hyper-vigilance and negative thoughts.
New target to improve pain management identified
September 7, 2010 Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Researchers have discovered a major mechanism underlying the development of tolerance to chronic morphine treatment. They found that the brain selectively responds to chronic morphine by increasing heteromer abundance, blocking individual receptors from signaling the analgesic response to morphine. The discovery may help researchers find new therapies to treat chronic pain, and reduce tolerance and side effects associated with morphine use.
Tai chi found to significantly alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms
Source: Medical News Today
Research reveals that a significant number of patients with fibromyalgia responded well to Tai Chi, experiencing alleviation of joint pains and other symptoms. In a trial, subjects were assigned to either a 12-week Tai Chi program or a 12-week wellness education program that included stretching exercises twice weekly. Results show that individuals in the Tai Chi group experienced significant symptom improvement, while the other group had very little benefit.
Research examines the biomedical diagnosis of pain
August 18, 2010 Source: University of Cincinnati
A new research paper examines the diagnosis of pain that evades scientific testing and the additional emotional suffering that can result for patients. Over 20 articles were selected from the journal, PAIN ® to determine how pain is measured and defined. The paper concludes that sufferers of chronic pain - conditions that frequently cannot be localized or pointed out on a scan or test - are often put in the position of defending the legitimacy or the reality of their condition.