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Chronic Pain News

When Is an Opioid Safe to Take?

Posted 1 day 13 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – Many people in pain are apprehensive about taking an opioid painkiller to ease their suffering, and rightfully so. Widespread use of opioids for pain has led to an epidemic of addiction in the United States. Forty lives are lost to prescription drug overdose every day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But an opioid painkiller, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) or hydrocodone (Vicoprofen) can sometimes be the best option for treating pain in the short term, particularly right after surgery or during a severe pain flare-up, pain experts say. In those instances, patients and doctors need to work together to make sure a patient's pain is treated while managing their risk of addiction and overdose. "You have to individualize care," said Dr. Edward Michna, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in ... Read more

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

Depressed Back Pain Patients Often Get Opioids

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – Patients with low back pain who are depressed are more likely to be prescribed opioids, and to be prescribed higher doses, a new study finds. Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States and the most common reason for opioid prescriptions, the researchers said. "There is strong evidence that depressed patients are at greater risk for misuse and overdose of opioids," said study senior author Dr. John Markman. He directs the University of Rochester Medical Center's Translational Pain Research Program, in New York. The analysis of nationwide data on nearly 5,400 people from 2004 to 2009 found that patients with back pain who screened positive for depression were more than twice as likely to be prescribed an opioid painkiller. Over a year's time, they also got more than twice the typical dose, the study found. The researchers said learning ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Major Depressive Disorder, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex

Yoga Soothes Back Pain in Study

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 – If you suffer from chronic low back pain, yoga might bring you as much relief as physical therapy, a new trial shows. The less positive finding: Both therapies fell far short of helping everyone. People who did yoga or physical therapy reported less pain on average after 12 weeks – an improvement that held up over a year. And some were able to cut out pain medication. Still, many failed to get meaningful relief, the researchers noted. Experts said the findings reflect the reality of chronic low back pain: No single treatment has proven widely effective. "We do not have any magic bullet," said lead researcher Dr. Robert Saper. According to guidelines published earlier this year by the American College of Physicians (ACP), non-drug options should be the first-line treatment against low back pain. That's largely because pain medications and other drugs are not ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Breakthrough Pain, Radiculopathy

Acupuncture May Be Effective Painkiller in the ER

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 – Acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative to pain medications for some emergency room patients, a new study reports. "While acupuncture is widely used by practitioners in community settings for treating pain, it is rarely used in hospital emergency departments," said study lead investigator Marc Cohen. He is a professor in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. The study – billed as the world's largest randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture in the emergency department – included 528 patients. The study participants were seen at four Australian emergency departments for acute low back pain, migraines or ankle sprains. Patients who said their level of pain was at least 4 on a 10-point scale received one of three treatments: acupuncture alone; acupuncture with painkillers; or painkillers alone. One hour ... Read more

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

Persistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Pain that continues, day in and day out, may trigger an unexpected and unwanted side effect – a bigger risk of mental decline and dementia, a new study suggests. The findings suggest that chronic pain may be related to changes in the brain that contribute to memory problems. The findings may also point to new ways to protect age-related mental decline, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers said. However, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. It can only show an association between pain and memory issues. The study included information on more than 10,000 people. All of the study participants were 60 and older. Those who had moderate or severe chronic pain in both 1998 and 2000 had more than a 9 percent faster decline on memory tests over the next 10 years than those who didn't ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Ibuprofen, Neuralgia, Naproxen

Chronic Pain Common in Adults With Depression, Anxiety

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Chronic pain afflicts about half of adults who have anxiety or depression, a new study finds. More than 5,000 adults in Brazil diagnosed with anxiety or mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder were asked about other health problems. Among those with a mood disorder, half reported chronic pain; 33 percent, respiratory diseases; 10 percent, heart disease; 9 percent, arthritis; and 7 percent, diabetes. Among those with anxiety, 45 percent reported chronic pain; 30 percent, respiratory diseases; and 11 percent each for arthritis and heart disease. Adults with two or more chronic diseases had an increased risk of a mood or anxiety disorder. High blood pressure was associated with both disorders at 23 percent, according to the Columbia University study published online June 1 in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Senior author Dr. Silvia Martins said ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Hydrocodone, Cymbalta, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Effexor, Prozac, Vicodin, Norco

Forget Steroid Shots for Long-Term Relief of Arthritic Knees

Posted 16 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 16, 2017 – Steroid shots are a common treatment for arthritic knees. But, a new study says their long-term use is ineffective and may even reduce cartilage. Knee osteoarthritis patients who got steroid injections every three months for two years had no less pain than those taking a placebo treatment. And they had greater loss of cartilage, the rubbery tissue that acts as a cushion between the bones of joints, researchers found. "This research will change how I talk to patients," said Dr. Seth Leopold, a professor of orthopedics and sports medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. "I will tell patients that the best information we now have suggests that these injections may not help, and extended use may thin your cartilage," said Leopold, who wasn't involved in the study. "We should only try them in someone who doesn't have alternatives, and we should ... Read more

Related support groups: Osteoarthritis, Chronic Pain, Methylprednisolone, Medrol, Cortisone, Solu-Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack, Depo-Medrol, A-methapred, Methylprednisolone Topical, Adlone-40, Hybrisil, Duralone, Cortone Acetate, Methacort 40, Bupivacaine/lidocaine/triamcinolone, Med-Jec-40, Dexamethasone/Lidocaine, Dep Medalone 80

Steroid Shots Offer No Long-Term Relief for Low-Back Pain

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – Chronic lower back pain affects millions of Americans. Many try steroid injections to ease their discomfort, but researchers now say this remedy provides only short-term relief. In their study, investigators from France focused on 135 patients with back pain seemingly caused by inflammation between the discs and bones (vertebrae) in the lower spine. The researchers found that a single steroid injection eased pain for one month. After that, however, effectiveness waned. Virtually no difference was seen one year after treatment between patients who did or didn't get the injection. "Our results do not support the wide use of an injection of glucocorticoid in alleviating symptoms in the long term in this condition," said lead researcher Dr. Christelle Nguyen. The findings are consistent with earlier studies, said Nguyen, an assistant professor of physical medicine ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Methylprednisolone, Sciatica, Medrol, Herniated Disc, Breakthrough Pain, Solu-Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack, Depo-Medrol, A-methapred, Methylprednisolone Topical, Adlone-40, M-Prednisolone, Decadron with Xylocaine, Methacort 80, Hybrisil, Medipred

Mediterranean Diet May Ease Chronic Pain of Obesity

Posted 10 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 10, 2017 – People who are overweight and plagued by chronic pain may find relief in a Mediterranean diet, new research suggests. The study of 98 men and women between the ages of 20 and 78 builds on growing evidence that a diet heavy on fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans provides significant health benefits. It also sheds new light on why eating these foods might reduce pain associated with obesity. Because obese people with chronic pain usually also have a high degree of inflammation, lead researcher Charles Emery suspects the foods' anti-inflammatory properties might explain the reduced pain levels. "Although the relationship of body fat and pain has been well-documented in prior studies, the mechanism is not known," said Emery, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University. "One possibility is the stress of body weight on joints. A second possible mechanism ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Obesity, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Inflammatory Conditions

'Off-Label' Antidepressants Common, But Where's the Evidence?

Posted 22 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Doctors often prescribe antidepressants to tackle conditions like migraine headaches for which they aren't technically approved. Now, researchers say such "off-label" usage mostly occurs without clear scientific evidence backing up the treatments. A new Canadian study found that almost one-third of antidepressants are prescribed for pain, insomnia, migraine or other unapproved uses. But just 16 percent of those off-label prescriptions were found to be supported by strong research. Study lead author Jenna Wong described the findings as "eye-opening" but in line with the findings of prior investigations. Wong, a doctoral candidate in epidemiology, biostatistics, and occupational health at McGill University in Montreal, said she hopes the findings raise awareness among doctors. "Some physicians may not be aware that certain off-label antidepressant uses are not ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Migraine, Insomnia, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Chronic Pain, Pristiq, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Savella

Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – A child's risk of a potentially fatal drug overdose more than doubles if a parent brings home a prescription opioid painkiller like oxycodone, codeine or morphine, a new study reports. When their mother is prescribed an opioid for pain as opposed to a non-narcotic drug like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, young children are about two-and-a-half times more likely to accidentally overdose, the researchers found. "The opioid epidemic has not skipped children," said Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, a pediatric emergency doctor with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "They are also vulnerable to it, even as a third party or innocent bystander." Finkelstein is lead researcher on the study, published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics. Another study in the journal helps explain the source of some of this risk. Nearly 70 percent of prescription opioids in homes with ... Read more

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

Chronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: Study

Posted 18 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – Chronic pain is much more common among poor, less educated older Americans than their wealthier, more educated peers, a new study suggests. "I found that people with lower levels of education and wealth don't just have more pain, they also have more severe pain," said study author Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk. She's an assistant professor of sociology from the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. "I also looked at pain-related disability, meaning that pain is interfering with the ability to do normal work or household activities. And again, people with less wealth and education are more likely to experience this disability," she added in a university news release. In the analysis of 12 years of data from more than 19,000 people aged 51 and older, those with the least education were 80 percent more likely to have chronic pain than those with the most education. People ... Read more

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

Germs, Mold Found in Some Medical Pot

Posted 15 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – Medical marijuana carries infectious bacteria and fungi that can pose a life-threatening risk to cancer patients who use pot to help with side effects of chemotherapy, a new study suggests. The study was initially prompted by the death of a man using medical marijuana to combat the side effects of cancer treatment. His death was believed to be caused by a fungus from his marijuana, his doctor said. Study researchers tested 20 different samples of dried marijuana obtained from Northern California dispensaries and found several potentially dangerous pathogens in the samples. The germs found by the researchers wouldn't harm an average pot user, but could be potentially fatal to people whose immune systems have been suppressed, said lead researcher Dr. George Thompson III. "We found basically everything that, if you're really immunosuppressed, you don't want," ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Infections, Nausea/Vomiting, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Bacterial Infection, Vomiting, Fungal Infections, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Cannabis, Nausea/Vomiting - Postoperative, Nausea/Vomiting - Radiation Induced, Mucormycosis, Invasive

Low Back Pain? Relax, Breathe and Try Yoga

Posted 10 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 – For people experiencing low back pain, the thought of exercise often seems daunting. But yoga may be a natural fit in the quest to relieve an aching back, a new review indicates. The findings come from an analysis of 12 studies that included more than 1,000 participants with lower back pain. The studies compared yoga to physical therapy or patient education. There was some evidence that yoga led to small improvements in pain, and small to moderate improvements in back function at three and six months. "We found that the practice of yoga was linked to pain relief and improvement in function," said review author L. Susan Wieland. She is an assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland. "For some patients suffering from chronic non-specific low back pain, yoga may be worth considering as a form of treatment," Wieland added in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Meloxicam, Acetaminophen, Advil, Diclofenac, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Paracetamol, Motrin, Fioricet

Opioids and Alcohol a Dangerous Cocktail

Posted 9 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – Drinking alcohol while taking powerful opioid painkillers can trigger a potentially deadly respiratory problem, particularly in seniors, a new study warns. "Unfortunately, we're seeing more fatalities and people in emergency rooms after having misused or abused legally prescribed opioids, like oxycodone, while having consumed alcohol," said study author Dr. Albert Dahan. "Respiratory depression [where breathing becomes very shallow or stops temporarily] is a potentially fatal complication of opioid use. We found alcohol exacerbated the already harmful respiratory effects of opioids," Dahan said. Dahan is head of the Anesthesia and Pain Research Unit at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. In the study, the researchers assessed how mixing the opioid painkiller oxycodone and alcohol affected 12 younger volunteers, aged 21 to 28, and 12 older ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Chronic Pain, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin

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