Pain Studies In The News
Untreated chronic pain and opioid abuse cost U.S. more than $323 billion annually, new study shows
October 4, 2011 Source: Millennium Research Institute
The conflicting problems of unrelenting chronic pain and prescription drug abuse directly and indirectly cost U.S. taxpayers, insurers and employers more than $323 billion annually, according to a new study. The study's authors believe that this cost could be reduced through the widespread implementation of Urine Drug Tests (UDTs). They foresee an economic benefit of in office screening and laboratory UDTs of more than three times their cost, resulting in an aggregate net direct and indirect benefit of more than $25 billion, depending on test frequency.
Medicare prescription drug abuse a problem: GAO
October 4, 2011 Source: Reuters
Prescription drug abuse by elderly and disabled beneficiaries of Medicare cost the U.S. program nearly $150 million in 2008, highlighting an area where the government can seek to save health costs. According to a recently released government report, some of these patients went to at least five doctors to get multiple prescriptions of drugs that are often abused. In all, 170,000 people enrolled in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program went "doctor shopping" for drugs.
Poor footwear linked to foot impairment and disability in gout patients
October 3, 2011 Source: Wiley-Blackwell
New research shows that use of poor footwear is common among patients with gout. According to the study, gout patients who make poor footwear choices experienced higher foot-related pain, impairment and disability. Gout patients also reported that comfort, fit, support and cost were the most important factors for selecting footwear.
Survey calls for greater clinical consensus on diagnosis and treatment of breakthrough cancer pain
October 3, 2011 Source: Breakthrough Cancer Pain Initiative
The results from a new European Survey show an unmet training need for the management of breakthrough cancer pain among nurses since the majority (57%) reported that they had not received training on breakthrough cancer pain management. The proportion of nurses receiving training in breakthrough cancer pain management varied significantly between countries with 72% of Finnish nurses receiving training whilst only 6% of Greek nurses receiving training.
Tailored care of back pain more cost-effective
September 30, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
A new study shows that a tailored or stratified management of back pain could be more effective and also cost less than the current "one size fits all" standard approach. Results showed an average saving of £34.39 per patients receiving stratified management compared to the standard approach control group. At 4 months and also at 12 months, the patients who received stratified care showed a significant improvement on the disability scores compared to the controls.
Study finds cognitive strategies to reduce pain involve different brain systems
September 29, 2011 Source: American Society of Anesthesiologists
Cognition is known to influence pain perception, and a new study analyzed whether two of the most commonly applied cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies involve different brain systems. Findings showed that each cognitive strategy involved a different brain system with only a small amount of overlap. During external focus of attention, brain activity was observed mainly in the cortical areas. While during reappraisal, activity was found in deep brain structures, as well as in some cortical regions.
Risk classification improves back pain outcomes
September 29, 2011 Source: The Lancet
Classifying back pain patients according to risk of permanent disability and treating them accordingly led to better -- and cheaper -- outcomes than standard care, a new trial found. At four months, mean change from baseline on the disability score among patients in the intervention group was 4.7 points compared with 3 points in the usual care group.
Study shows link between smoking and chronic pain in women
September 28, 2011 Source: University of Kentucky
Kentucky women who smoke heavily may experience more chronic musculoskeletal pain, suggests a new study. Results showed that women who smoke, or who were former smokers, had a greater chance of reporting at least one chronic pain syndrome in comparison to nonsmokers. Former smokers showed a 20 percent increase, occasional smokers showed a 68 percent increase, and in daily smokers the odds more than doubled (104 percent).
New study shows reciprocal pain and depression links
September 28, 2011 Source: American Pain Society
A new study shows that changes in pain severity can predict subsequent depression severity and, likewise, a worsening change in depression is an equally strong predictor of subsequent pain severity. Analyses also indicated that the effects of pain on depression were mediated by its effects on fatigue and disability.
Popular painkillers linked to increased heart attack risk
September 28, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
A new international study finds that popular painkillers or anti-inflammatories knows as NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke by a third, with some having a much stronger effect than others, and size of dose also making a difference. However, experts urge patients worried about the findings not to give up on their NSAID medication and to speak to their doctor about their concerns.
Acupuncture, acupressure and aromatherapy efficient in tackling pain
September 27, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
Many patients suffering from chronic pain try alternative and complementary treatments as these are often viewed as natural and therefore risk-free. Evidence was recently presented at the EFIC Congress 'Pain in Europe VII' that therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure and aromatherapy are indeed efficient in tackling pain.
Traumatic experiences associated with chronic pain - torture may inflict a long-term dysfunction of pain inhibitory pathways
September 26, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
New research shows that traumatic experiences, such as war captivity and torture, are directly associated with subsequent chronic pain and may inflict a long-term dysfunction of pain inhibitory pathways. A good medicine for victims proves to be education, talking and understanding.
Psychological interventions can alleviate chronic pain and improve quality of life
September 26, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
Psychological interventions can alleviate chronic pain, improve patients' quality of life and prevent a spiral of ever-increasing disability. However, these interventions appear to only be helpful if they motivate patients to live an active life with their pain instead of trying to escape the inescapable.
Seniors at higher risk of pneumonia when prescribed opioids
September 26, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
A new study shows that patients taking long-acting opioids such as sustained-release morphine were more than three times as likely to get pneumonia as were those not taking opioids. Recently starting use was a risk factor: During the first 14 days of use, patients who took opioids were more than three times as likely to get pneumonia as were those not taking opioids. Patients using immunosuppressing opioids were nearly 1.9 times as likely to get pneumonia as were those not using opioids.
Complex regional pain syndrome and the 'disinhibited' brain
September 23, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), also known as Morbus Sudeck, is characterised by "disinhibition" of various sensory and motor areas in the brain. A research group has demonstrated for the first time that with unilateral CRPS excitability increases not only in the brain area processing the sense of touch of the affected hand. In addition, the brain region representing the healthy hand is simultaneously "disinhibited".
Women aged over 85 have higher prevalence of arthritis and joint pain
September 21, 2011 Source: Medical News Today
Although arthritis is strongly connected with age, very few investigations have studied how the oldest individuals are affected by the disease, even though by 2033 these individuals will make up for 3.3 million of the population in the UK. A new investigation has discovered that the lifetime prevalence of arthritis is 65.4% in individuals aged 85, occurring more commonly in women.
Expert nursing panel: making pain control safer
September 19, 2011 Source: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Efforts to effectively control pain in hospitalized patients with opioid (narcotic) analgesics can lead to unintentional sedation and respiratory depression, which are serious adverse events affecting the quality of recovery for patients. These unintended consequences may be avoided with individualized patient care plans, safe administration of these drugs, and appropriate monitoring practices, report Penn Nursing pain experts.
Number of children poisoned by medication rising dramatically, study says
September 16, 2011 Source: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
The number of young children admitted to hospitals or seen in emergency departments because they unintentionally took a potentially toxic dose of medication has risen dramatically in recent years, according to a new study. Results show that exposure to prescription products accounted for most of the emergency visits (55 percent), admissions (76 percent) and significant harm (71 percent). Levels of ingestion of opioids, most often prescribed to treat pain; sedatives-hypnotics, frequently prescribed as sleep aids; and cardiovascular medications were particularly high.
Ultrasound doesn't increase pain relief in nerve block procedures
September 16, 2011 Source: International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS)
Using ultrasound to guide the performance of nerve blocks—in which anesthetics are directly targeted to a specific nerve or group of nerves—has contributed to the increased use of regional anesthesia. However, available research doesn't show that ultrasound-guided nerve block procedures lead to increased pain relief, according to a new report.
Video helps patients make decisions about surgery for back pain
September 15, 2011 Source: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Viewing an evidence-based video provides support to patients with low back pain in making decisions about whether to undergo surgical versus non surgical treatment, reports a new study. As part of the study, patients were offered the opportunity to view a video decision aid on the choice between surgical and nonsurgical treatment. About 38% of patients who viewed the video changed their treatment preferences, compared to 21% of those who did not watch the video.
Association found between long-term use of nonaspirin anti-inflammatory drugs and renal cell cancer
September 12, 2011 Source: JAMA
Long-term use of nonaspirin anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with an increased risk of renal cell cancer (RCC), according to a new study. Researchers found a 51% increase in the relative risk RCC with regular use of nonaspirin NSAIDs. There was a 19% decrease in relative risk for use less than four years, a 36% increase in relative risk for use of analgesics for four years to less than 10 years and nearly three times the relative risk for use for 10 or more years.
Safety of commonly used anesthetics strongly age dependent
September 9, 2011 Source: SmartTots
The most sensitive period of brain development in both animals and humans seems to occur during a peak of synaptogenesis – a period of substantial synapse formation responsible for building neuronal circuits capable of transmitting cellular signals. A new study shows that general anesthesia administered to the developing animal brain depresses much needed neuronal activity and communication resulting in long-lasting cognitive impairment.
Gene that controls chronic pain identified
September 9, 2011 Source: University of Cambridge
Researchers recently identified a gene responsible for regulating chronic pain, called HCN2. Their discovery opens up the possibility of targeting drugs to block the protein produced by the gene in order to combat chronic pain.