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'Fake Pills' May Help Ease Back Pain

Posted 2 days 20 hours ago by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – Even if they know the pills are fake, chronic back pain sufferers may get relief from placebo drugs, a new study indicates. Researchers found that patients who knowingly took a placebo pill while undergoing traditional treatment for lower back pain had less pain and disability than those who received traditional treatment alone. "These findings turn our understanding of the placebo effect on its head," said Ted Kaptchuk, a joint senior author of the study and director of the Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "This new research demonstrates that the placebo effect is not necessarily elicited by patients' conscious expectation that they are getting an active medicine, as long thought," Kaptchuk added in a hospital news release. "Taking a pill in the context of a patient-clinician ... 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, Butrans

Leave Those Raking Injuries Behind

Posted 11 days ago by

TUESDAY, Oct. 11, 2016 – Jumping in piles of leaves can be great fun, but raking them up afterward can leave you with an aching back. Each year, more than 76,000 Americans are hurt while raking leaves or using other manual garden tools. That's according to The Center for Physical Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine at The Chester County Hospital at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. One reason why these injuries may occur is that raking leaves forces people to use several different muscle groups, the center explained. But certain precautions can help people doing yard work avoid these injuries. Sports medicine and physical rehabilitation specialists advise taking the following steps: Warm up and cool down. Just like any physical activity, it's important to warm up before raking leaves. It's also a good idea to stretch first. Try trunk rotation, shoulder and wrist stretches. Once you're ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Muscle Pain, Neck Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Dyspnea, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy

Alzheimer's May Hamper Ability to Perceive Pain

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by

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

Health Tip: Keep Bedtime Back Pain at Bay

Posted 15 Jun 2016 by

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

Opioid Painkillers Raise Deadly Heart Risks for Some: Study

Posted 14 Jun 2016 by

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

Health Tip: When a Child Complains of Back Pain

Posted 25 May 2016 by

-- Back pain is not typical in children, and can signal something more serious. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says your child should see a doctor if your child complains of back pain along with any of these additional symptoms: Losing weight, or running a fever. Having weakness or numbness. Having difficulty walking. Having pain that travels down both legs. Developing trouble with the bladder or bowels. Having pain that interferes with sleep. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Neuralgia, Sciatica, Neuropathic Pain, Scoliosis, Pain/Fever

Meditation May Help Ease Chronic Low Back Pain

Posted 22 Mar 2016 by

TUESDAY, March 22, 2016 – Meditation may work better than painkillers when it comes to soothing chronic low back pain, a new clinical trial suggests. The study found that a program called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) beat standard medical care for managing low back pain. After one year, people who attended MBSR classes were more than 40 percent likely to show "meaningful" improvements in their pain and daily activities compared to people who sought conventional care for their aching backs. MBSR involves group sessions in meditation and some simple yoga poses. The focus is on becoming aware of body sensations, thoughts and emotions – without trying to change them, explained study leader Daniel Cherkin. He's a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute, in Seattle. It's not exactly clear why the mindfulness approach can ease back pain, according to Cherkin. But, ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Use Proper Lifting Technique

Posted 16 Mar 2016 by

-- Lifting heavy things without the proper technique is an easy way to hurt your back. To help prevent back injury and pain, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons advises: Plan before you lift, and don't rush. Standing near the object, place your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees. As you stand, use your leg muscles to lift. Ask someone for help if the object is too heavy or awkward. Read more

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

Health Tip: Help Prevent Back Pain During Sleep

Posted 2 Mar 2016 by

-- If back pain prevents you from getting a good night's sleep, your position and mattress may be to blame. The National Sleep Foundation suggests: If you're a back sleeper, place a pillow beneath your knees to ease pressure on your back. If you're a stomach sleeper, place the pillow under your belly. Side sleepers should place the pillow between the knees. Invest in a new mattress. Medium to medium-firm is best for back support. If you can't buy a new one, place some plywood beneath the mattress. Carefully ease in and out of bed, avoiding quick movements. Roll to your side, use your arms to push yourself up and carefully swing your legs over the side of the bed. Exercise regularly, making sure to work your abdominal and back muscles. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Excedrin, Fioricet, Tylenol PM, Scoliosis, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Breakthrough Pain, Advil PM, Esgic, Headache Relief, Acetaminophen/Butalbital/Caffeine, Percogesic, Bupap, Esgic-Plus, Acetaminophen/Butalbital

Nerve Block Technique Might Help Ease Chronic Back Pain

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 – A procedure that uses radio waves to treat chronic low back pain provided long-lasting relief to a small group of patients, researchers report. Called intradiscal biacuplasty (IDB), the procedure uses two water-cooled needles to blast radiofrequency energy at the nerve fibers within and around a spinal disc that's begun to degenerate but has not ruptured, explained lead researcher Dr. Michael Gofeld. "Basically you're destroying the nerve fibers, which will lead to the elimination of pain," he said. Gofeld is a chronic pain management specialist at St. Michael's Hospital and Women's College Hospital in Toronto. A year out from treatment, half of the patients who received IDB in the study said they still were experiencing significant pain reduction, Gofeld and his colleagues reported. The treatment is specifically to help people with discogenic back pain, Gofeld ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy

'Mindfulness' Might Help Older Adults With Back Pain

Posted 23 Feb 2016 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 – Mindful meditation may offer a measure of pain relief to seniors suffering from chronic lower back pain, new research suggests. The study involved nearly 300 older adults with long-term lower back pain, half of whom were assigned to a two-month mindful meditation course. "Mindfulness meditation is a method to learn how to be fully engaged in the present moment and not let the mind get so easily distracted," explained study lead author Dr. Natalia Morone. She is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. As patients practiced mindfulness meditation and tried to stay more focused on the present moment, "participants found they experienced less pain," Morone said. They also saw short-term benefits in physical function, the study found. More than half of adults older than 65 suffer from chronic pain, most commonly in the back, according to ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Are You at Risk for Low Back Pain?

Posted 22 Feb 2016 by

-- Low back pain is among the most common reasons for missing work. About 80 percent of people have the condition at some point during their lives, U.S. government statistics show. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke mentions these risk factors: Growing older. The first signs of low back pain usually surface between ages 30 and 50, and your risk increases as you age. Being in poor physical condition. Being pregnant. Quickly gaining a large amount of weight, or being overweight or obese. Having a genetic predisposition to back pain. Working at a job that involves lifting heavy objects, or working a desk job with a chair lacking back support. Having depression, anxiety or other conditions that may worsen the perception of pain. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Obesity, Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis

Painkillers Don't Ease Disability Due to Nerve Damage: Study

Posted 1 Feb 2016 by

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 – Taking prescription narcotic painkillers doesn't improve movement or reduce disability in people with pain related to nerve damage, researchers have found. "Even though [narcotic] medications can be a powerful pain killer, it does not necessarily mean improved function will follow. Pain is not the only factor in determining function," study lead author and pain expert Geoff Bostick, an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Alberta in Canada, said in a university news release. The research included almost 800 patients with pain due to nerve damage, from causes such as diabetes and pinched nerves. Some were prescribed narcotic painkillers – such as morphine, codeine and Tylenol 3 – while others didn't receive the drugs. At 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, those who took the painkillers didn't show greater improvements in movement and ... Read more

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

Many Chronic Pain Sufferers May Overuse Nonprescription Painkillers

Posted 26 Jan 2016 by

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2016 – Many people with chronic pain ignore dosing instructions on over-the-counter pain medicines and put themselves at risk for an overdose, a new survey suggests. An overdose of these medicines can result in serious side effects, such as stomach bleeding, ulcers, liver damage and even death, according to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). The AGA-commissioned poll of more than 1,000 U.S. adults aged 30 and older and 251 gastroenterologists found that 43 percent of chronic pain sufferers said they knowingly have taken more than the recommended dose of an over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicine at some point. Common types of OTC pain medicines include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) and aspirin. "Pain is incredibly personal, but taking more than the recommended ... Read more

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

Did Painkiller Crackdown Cause Heroin Epidemic?

Posted 13 Jan 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2016 – Top U.S. drug researchers are challenging a leading theory about the nation's heroin epidemic, saying it's not a direct result of the crackdown on prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin. The commentary, published in the Jan. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, is unlikely to resolve the debate, as other researchers disagree with the authors' conclusion. What they likely will agree on is that heroin's popularity is soaring – with more than 914,000 reported users in the United States in 2014, an increase of 145 percent since 2007, according to background notes with the commentary. This has led to a spike in overdose deaths – more than 10,500 in 2014. Some researchers and health officials point to recent limits on prescription painkillers as a likely cause of the heroin scourge. But the commentary authors said that the rise in ... Read more

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

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