This Week in Pain: November 5, 2015

This Week in Pain

Recap of recent pain-related news:

Study Identifies Patients Most Likely To Have Joint Pain Reduction After Bariatric Surgery

Source: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences on 11/4

“In the three years following bariatric surgery, the majority of patients experience an improvement in pain and walking ability, according to the preliminary results of a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health-led analysis presented today in Los Angeles at ObesityWeek, the annual international conference of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society.” Read

Acupuncture May Ease Neck Pain Over Long Term

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine; reported by HealthDay on 11/3

“Two alternative therapies — acupuncture and the Alexander technique — appear equally beneficial for the long-term relief of chronic neck pain, new research reports.” Read

Rheumatoid Arthritis May Shorten Life Span

Source: Brigham and Women’s Hospital; reported by HealthDay on 11/3

“Rheumatoid arthritis may raise the risk of early death by as much as 40 percent, with heart and respiratory problems the most common contributors to a shortened life span, a new study suggests.” Read

Finnish Researchers Find Link Between the Choroid Plexus and RSD/CRPS

Source: Aalto University; reported by The Legal Examiner on 11/3

“Aalto University neuroscientists, in collaboration with researchers at Helsinki University Hospital and Harvard Medical School, have found a link between the size of the choroid plexus in the brain and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).” Read

Low Levels Of Vitamin D Linked To Fibromyalgia

Source: Pain Physician Journal; reported by Pain News Network on 11/2

“Some recent studies are highlighting the importance of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ — Vitamin D — in maintaining overall health, as well as possible links to fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic conditions. Low levels of serum vitamin D were found in over 1,800 fibromyalgia patients with chronic widespread pain, according to the results of a meta-analysis (a study of studies) published in the journal Pain Physician.Read

Forget Counting Sheep – Therapy Could Help Chronic Pain Sufferers Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Source: University of Warwick; reported by Newswise on 10/29

“The University of Warwick academics found that cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) were either moderately or strongly effective in tackling insomnia in patients with long-term pain. They also discovered that chronic pain sufferers didn’t just benefit from improved sleep but also experienced a wider positive impact on pain, fatigue and depression. However they also concluded that therapies only worked when delivered in person.” Read

Psychologists Are Exploring Complementary Therapies And Integrated Approaches To Better Treat The Complex Problem Of Chronic Pain

Source: American Psychological Association on 11/1

“Americans often seek pain relief from a pill, with some 5 million to 8 million using opioid painkillers to ease their pain, according to a 2015 report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That number has greatly increased, from 76 million prescriptions in 1991 to 219 million in 2011. But medication doesn’t work for everyone, and the number of people addicted to or overdosing on painkillers has been rising, that report says. Surgery, another treatment option for some types of pain, is expensive, often ineffective and can require a long recovery. Meanwhile, research suggests that chronic pain is a complex condition that involves emotions, including stress and anxiety, perceptions and social influences.” Read

Opioids Boost Infection Risk in Arthritis Patients

Source: Vanderbilt University Medical Center; reported by Medpage Today on 10/30

“Taking opioids appears to raise the risk for serious infections among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to Andrew W. Wiese, Department of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, and colleagues. Their study found that higher rates of infection were associated with long-acting opioids, potentially immunosuppressive opioids, and those with a higher daily morphine-equivalent dose.” Read