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Chronic Pain News

Easing Opioid Dose May Improve Pain and Quality of Life

Posted 2 days 12 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 18, 2017 – Sometimes less really is more. New research suggests that when it comes to long-term use of opioid painkillers, cutting back on the dose of the drugs might improve pain and function, as well as boost quality of life. "As many as 10 million Americans use long-term opioid medications to manage chronic pain," said Dr. Joseph Frank. He's the lead author of the new study and a primary care physician at Denver's Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Opioid medications include oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen), Frank said. These medications may be prescribed long-term for the treatment of different chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis or low back pain. "Nationwide efforts to reduce opioid prescribing will have a big impact on these people, but little is known about the benefits and risks of reducing long-term opioid therapy. When taken ... Read more

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

JFK's Long, Silent Struggle With Back Pain

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 11, 2017 – Contrary to his youthful, vibrant public image, former President John F. Kennedy privately battled chronic, debilitating back pain much of his life. A new report chronicles JFK's pain issues and the many treatments he received throughout the years. The report includes private details – from multiple failed spinal surgeries and narcotic injections, to use of a back brace that some believe may have played a role in his death. "He went through the wringer visiting different surgeons and physicians and experts in their field – well-known people," said study co-author Dr. Justin Dowdy. He is a neurosurgeon and partner at Hot Springs Neurosurgery Clinic in Arkansas. While Kennedy's care would be different today due to advances in surgery and imaging technology, Dowdy doesn't see reason to second-guess clinicians' recommendations at the time. "They did the best they ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Surgery, Back Pain, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Meloxicam, Breakthrough Pain, Sciatica, Advil, Diclofenac, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Motrin

Take A New View of Yoga

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – Want to add strength training, flexibility, and even stress reduction to your fitness plan? Then it's time to consider – or reconsider, if you've shied away from it in the past – the ancient Indian practice of yoga. Some 11 million Americans take part in one form of yoga or another. And, far from being a new-age type of exercise, it's embraced by people from all walks of life – men as well as women, and even pro athletes, according to the American Council on Exercise. And you don't have to twist yourself into a pretzel to do it. The most popular discipline is Hatha yoga, which stresses concentration and uses stretching and strengthening exercises. Many poses or asanas aren't complicated, but they are effective. You can choose those specifically targeted to your needs. For example, the Warrior 2 pose improves hip flexibility and strengthens the quadriceps. ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Back Pain, Major Depressive Disorder, Chronic Pain, Muscle Pain, Sciatica, Dysthymia

Reaching Beyond the Prescription Pad to Treat Pain

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Teaching coping skills may help reduce the risk that patients with chronic pain will become addicted to opioid painkillers, a new study suggests. "If we lower how many opioids patients are taking, but leave them disabled and not able to live their lives, that is not helpful," said study co-author Dr. Aliza Weinrib, a clinical psychologist in Ontario, Canada. "Patients can learn to respond to their pain in a different way, making it less overwhelming. They don't have to be so tied to their medications," added Weinrib, who works with surgical patients at Toronto General Hospital. Many addiction specialists believe widespread use of powerful prescription painkillers led to the current heroin and opioid epidemic ravaging much of North America. The study included more than 300 patients who developed chronic pain after major surgery – pain that lasted more than three ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Exercise to Manage Knee Pain

Posted 28 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

-- When your knees hurt, you may be tempted to rest instead of exercise. But regular exercise can help strengthen your knees and ease pain. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends: Start exercising slowly. Over time, increase repetitions or weights as you feel stronger. While some discomfort is normal, pain isn't. Stop if you feel pain. Don't push yourself so hard that you're in pain the next day. Consult with a therapist or doctor about how often to exercise, and the types of exercise to try. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Chronic Pain, Knee Joint Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery

When Is an Opioid Safe to Take?

Posted 26 Jun 2017 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 22 Jun 2017 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 19 Jun 2017 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, Breakthrough Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy

Acupuncture May Be Effective Painkiller in the ER

Posted 19 Jun 2017 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, Decadron with Xylocaine, Methacort 80, MLK F2, Medipred, Depmedalone, Methylcotolone, Medralone 40, Depoject-80, Predacorten

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, Breakthrough Pain, Sciatica, Medrol, Herniated Disc, Solu-Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack, Depo-Medrol, A-methapred, Methylprednisolone Topical, Dep Medalone 80, Methylcotol, Medralone, Methylpred DP, MLK F2, Medralone 80

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

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