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Even at Cancer Centers, Finding Relief for Pain Can Be Tough

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 – Staff members at nearly one in 10 major U.S. cancer centers – all of which provide palliative care services – weren't certain such symptom-management and supportive care was actually available there, a new study reveals. The study suggests that for cancer patients, obtaining good relief for their stress and pain may not always be easy, the researchers said. Using an undercover "mystery shopper" approach, the Duke University team also had difficulty getting information about palliative care services during about one-third of calls to 40 U.S. National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. "We were surprised that when we did get in touch with people [at these centers], so frequently we weren't able to get these questions answered," said study author Kathryn Hutchins, a fourth-year medical student at Duke, in Durham, N.C. She said part of the problem ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety and Stress, Back Pain, Muscle Pain, Neck Pain

Do States With Medical Marijuana Have Less Opioid Abuse?

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 15, 2016 – A new study of drivers who died in auto accidents suggests people in states with medical marijuana laws may be using fewer opioid painkillers, the study authors contend. "After the implementation of a medical marijuana law, there appears to be less opioid use, at least among young and middle-aged adults," study lead author June Kim said. He's a graduate student in epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. However, two addiction experts not involved with the research were critical of the methodology used, saying the study authors did not prove the point they were trying to make. The study sought to understand how laws allowing the medical use of marijuana – now legal in 25 states and Washington, D.C. – might affect the use of opioid painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (used in Vicodin and ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Drug Dependence, Cannabis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Review Suggests Safe, Effective Ways to Relieve Pain Without Meds

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – Popular drug-free methods of managing pain from such common conditions as headaches and arthritis appear to be effective, according to a new review. Millions of Americans seek pain relief through such alternatives as acupuncture, tai chi and yoga. But there has been little information to help doctors make recommendations about these approaches. "For many Americans who suffer from chronic pain, medications may not completely relieve pain and can produce unwanted side effects. As a result, many people may turn to nondrug approaches to help manage their pain," study lead author Richard Nahin said in a U.S. government news release. "Our goal for this study was to provide relevant, high-quality information for primary care providers and for patients who suffer from chronic pain," Nahin added. He is lead epidemiologist at the U.S. National Center for Complementary ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Headache, Back Pain, Migraine, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Pain, Neuralgia, Migraine Prevention, Migraine Prophylaxis, Breakthrough Pain, New Daily Persistent Headache

Non-addictive Painkiller Shows Promise in Animal Trials

Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 – Preliminary research in monkeys suggests that a new medication might be able to provide pain relief similar to opioid drugs such as OxyContin, but without the same potential for addiction or serious side effects. The experimental medication "has the potential to replace morphine as the gold standard for treating severe pain," said Andrew Coop. He's a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and is familiar with the new study findings. There's a critical need for a painkiller that packs the punch of drugs such as Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone), OxyContin (oxycodone) and morphine, but minus the negative effects, doctors say. The United States is currently in the throes of an opioid addiction epidemic. More than 40 Americans die every day due to the misuse of opioids, according to the U.S. Centers for ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Chronic Pain, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, Roxicet, M O S, Avinza, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Breakthrough Pain

Backpack Smarts From a Pro

Posted 28 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Aug. 27, 2016 – Ill-fitting backpacks may put school children at risk for muscle injuries as well as back, neck and shoulder pain, experts warn. "Heavy duty backpacks must be worn and used correctly in order to avoid injuries such as strains, sprains and posture problems," said orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Nitin Khanna, an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons spokesperson. "Use both shoulder straps to keep the weight of the backpack better distributed and adjust the shoulder straps to keep the load close to the back. Roller bags are also a good option, if easily used at your child's school," Khanna said in an academy news release. Between their textbooks and electronic gear, backpacks can easily weigh a kid down. Doctors and hospitals in the United States treated 10,000 children between the ages of 5 and 18 years for backpack-related injuries in 2015, according to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Scoliosis

Painkillers for Teen Athletes Won't Spur Addiction: Study

Posted 25 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – Teenage athletes are less likely to abuse prescription painkillers than kids who don't play sports or exercise, a new study finds. The study results run counter to some research in recent years detailing concerns about injured teen athletes abusing opioid painkillers prescribed by doctors and then moving on to use heroin. Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, said he was "surprised" by the findings. He said, "A key risk (for teenage athletes) is a desire to please and for acceptance. But this study shows overall rates (of use) are declining." For the study, University of Michigan researchers examined data from nearly 192,000 students in 8th and 10th grade who participated in a federally funded study between 1997 and 2014. Over these years, doctors wrote many more opioid painkiller prescriptions for children and teens, ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Vicoprofen, Percocet 10/325, Hydromet, Roxicet

Pain Raises Risk of Opioid Addiction

Posted 22 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 – The more pain they have, the more likely people are to become addicted to powerful prescription opioid painkillers, a new study suggests. "In light of the national opioid abuse epidemic, these new results underscore the importance of developing effective ... approaches to managing common painful medical conditions," said senior author Dr. Mark Olfson. He is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. The study included results from a survey on alcohol and drug use. More than 34,000 Americans completed the survey. The researchers found that people with moderate to severe pain had a 41 percent higher risk of opioid addiction than those with no pain. That increased risk was independent of other factors such as age, gender, anxiety and mood disorders, and family history of drug, alcohol, and behavioral problems, the study ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Tylenol, Chronic Pain, Opana

Why Kicking the Opioid Habit Can Be So Tough

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – He was 26, a specialist fifth class with the U.S. Army, and stationed abroad, when an accident on the German autobahn sent him careening through the windshield of his car. The now 60-year-old veteran prefers to withhold his name, but not his story, of a decades-long struggle against chronic back pain and an addiction to the opioid painkillers he'd hoped would help him. "At first I was taking 50 milligrams [mg] of Percocet," the Colorado resident recalled. "Every day I'd wake up in pain. And every day I'd automatically pop a pill right away and go back to work. I didn't think anything of it – I'd just take Percocet in combination with hydrocodone [Vicodin], and it worked." However, "eventually it wasn't working anymore," he said. "I felt like I was putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, and I couldn't stand the pain." Then, over time, there was a "gradual ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Chronic Pain, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Breakthrough Pain, Percocet 5/325, OxyIR, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Percocet 7.5/325

Alzheimer's May Hamper Ability to Perceive Pain

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – Alzheimer's disease may affect people's ability to recognize when they are in pain, a new study shows. Undetected pain may allow underlying health issues to go untreated, leading to serious complications, such as organ damage, researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville cautioned. For the three-year study, the researchers tested two groups of adults who were aged 65 or older. One group was made up of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which affects thinking skills, memory and intellect. Members of the second group did not have the progressive neurological disease. The study used a device to subject participants to different heat sensations and asked them to report their pain levels. After the tests, the researchers analyzed self-reported pain. "We found that participants with Alzheimer's disease required higher temperatures to report sensing ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Headache, Back Pain, Sciatica, Alzheimer's Disease, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Breakthrough Pain

Drug Monitoring Programs Do Curb Overdose Deaths: Study

Posted 23 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 – Drug monitoring programs appear to help reduce deaths from prescription painkillers called opioids, a new study finds. In an effort to curb overdose deaths from powerful painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, all states except Missouri have implemented prescription-drug monitoring programs to track high-risk patients and prescription providers. But there have been conflicting findings about the effectiveness of these programs. For instance, a study published June 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine found no change in opioid use or overdoses among disabled workers on Medicare between 2006 and 2012, despite tighter regulations. But the current study – based on data from 1999 to 2013 – found that monitoring programs were associated with the prevention of about one opioid painkiller overdose death every two hours nationwide. "Today, opioid overdose ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Health Tip: Keep Bedtime Back Pain at Bay

Posted 15 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Back pain is a common reason for poor sleep. So taking steps to alleviate or prevent pain can help you sleep better. The National Sleep Foundation suggests: If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help alleviate back pain. If you're a stomach sleeper, place a pillow under your belly. If you're a side sleeper, use a pillow between your knees. Invest in a new mattress. Choose one that's firm or medium-firm for more support. Or plant a sheet of beneath your existing mattress. Get out of bed slowly and gently. Instead of sitting straight up, roll onto your side, push up with your hands and swing your legs over the side. Exercise regularly, making sure to perform strengthening exercises that focus on your back and core. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Sleep Disorders, Back Pain, Insomnia, Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Meloxicam, Advil, Diclofenac, Sciatica, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Fioricet, Motrin, Herniated Disc, Excedrin, Indomethacin

Opioid Painkillers Raise Deadly Heart Risks for Some: Study

Posted 14 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 – While the dangers of overdose among patients prescribed powerful opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and fentanyl are well known, a new study found unexpected heart risks with the medications. Patients who had just been prescribed an opioid painkiller had a 64 percent higher risk of early death when compared to patients who were given an alternative pain medication. But much of that increased risk was related to the onset of breathing difficulties during sleep, followed by heart rhythm irregularities and other cardiovascular complications. "We were not surprised by the increased risk for overdose deaths, which is well known," noted study author Wayne Ray, from the department of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. "However, the large increase in cardiovascular death risk is a novel finding," Ray said. "[And] it suggests ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Gabapentin, Fentanyl, Lyrica, Chronic Pain, Neurontin, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Sciatica, Tegretol, Roxicodone, Pregabalin, Carbamazepine, Endocet, Duragesic, Scoliosis

Shouting? The 'Silent Treatment'? How Spouses Argue Linked to Physical Ills

Posted 14 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 – How spouses disagree may predict which ones are more likely to develop certain ailments down the road, new research suggests. Analyzing 156 older couples over 20 years, scientists found that patterns of angry outbursts raised the risk of heart problems, while emotional withdrawal or "stonewalling" could lead to musculoskeletal issues such as back pain or stiff neck. "We've known for a long time that stress and negative emotions are bad for your health," said study author Claudia Haase. She's an assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. "But in our new study we wanted to dig deeper, and found that very specific behaviors led to specific health problems over time," she added. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and a major cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety and Stress, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Muscle Pain, Heart Disease, Neck Pain, Agitation, Frozen Shoulder, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ischemic Heart Disease

Fewer Injured Workers Getting Opioid Prescriptions in Some States

Posted 13 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 – As the United States continues to grapple with the painkiller addiction epidemic, a new study reports that fewer injured workers are getting prescriptions for opioids in most of the 25 states included in the research. The study included information from 337,000 workers' compensation claims in the study states. The researchers also reviewed nearly 1.9 million prescriptions linked to those claims. The information came two 24-month time periods, ending in March 2012 and in March 2014. The amount of opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin and Percocet, received by injured workers dropped during both time periods in the majority of the states in the study. Significant reductions – between 20 percent and 31 percent – were seen in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Texas, the study found. Opioid use was most common among workers who were ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Muscle Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Patients Often Prescribed Extra Painkillers, Many Share Them

Posted 13 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 – More than half the patients prescribed opioid painkillers in a recent U.S. study received more than they needed. And many shared the drugs or failed to store them securely, a new survey indicates. The study of more than 1,000 adults prescribed painkillers like OxyContin or Vicodin shows how some Americans gain illicit access to addictive pain medications. These patterns are contributing to the nation's epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and overdose deaths, the researchers said. More than one in five patients admitted "they have shared an opioid medication with another person, primarily to help that other person manage pain," said study lead author Alene Kennedy-Hendricks. She is an assistant scientist in the department of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore. Moreover, more than 60 percent of ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex

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