Seven Things You Should Know About Pain Science

Seven Things You Should Know About Pain Science | Better Movement

If you have pain, this is stuff you should know.

  1.  Pain is a Survival Mechanism whose Purpose is to Protect the Body

Pain is defined as an unpleasant subjective experience whose purpose is to motivate you to do something, usually to protect body parts that the brain thinks (rightly or wrongly) are damaged. If you feel pain, it means that your central nervous system (“CNS”) thinks the body is under threat, and that something has to be done about it.

  1.  Pain is an Output of the Brain, Not an Input from the Body

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Ketamine restores pleasure-seeking rapidly in depression

Rapid agent restores pleasure-seeking ahead of other antidepressant action

A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of — and ahead of — its other antidepressant effects

Within 40 minutes after a single infusion of ketamine, treatment-resistant depressed bipolar disorder patients experienced a reversal of a key symptom — loss of interest in pleasurable activities — which lasted up to 14 days. Brain scans traced the agent’s action to boosted activity in areas at the front and deep in the right hemisphere of the brain.

Our findings help to deconstruct what has traditionally been lumped together as depression,

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Researchers Closer To Discovering Causes of Serious Pain Syndrome

Researchers Closer To Discovering Causes of Serious Pain Syndrome : Physical Wellness : Counsel & Heal

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is serious condition that affects a limb following an accident or operation. Researchers in the new study reported that they have successfully transferred antibodies from the serum of patients with CRPS to mice, causing many of the same symptoms to be replicated.

The findings of this study hint at a cause for it – harmful serum-autoantibodies – and raise the possibility of finding a treatment. In mice injected with the antibodies from CRPS sufferers, there was significantly more swelling of the affected limbs compared to mice injected with antibodies from healthy volunteers.

It’s quite possible that CRPS is caused by a fault in the immune system.  This study seems to pinpoint the cause as autoantibodies, and by examining this area further we can look to develop a cure,



The Effectiveness and Risks of Long-Term Opioid Tx of Chronic Pain

The Effectiveness and Risks of Long-Term Opioid Treatment of Chronic Pain

This is a government sponsored Research Review, from the Effective Health Care Program (Helping You Make Better Treatment Choices) under the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  Below is the abstract from the 219-page report, which reaches the non-conclusion that has resulted from all other long-term studies: “More research is needed“.


Chronic pain is common and use of long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain has increased dramatically. This report reviews the current evidence on effectiveness and harms of opioid therapy for chronic pain, focusing on long-term (>1 year) outcomes.

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The phenomenological-existential comprehension of chronic pain

The phenomenological-existential comprehension of chronic pain: going beyond the standing healthcare models [Philos Ethics Humanit Med. 2014] – PubMed – NCBI

This is a very long full-text article of interest to those of us who enjoy philosophical musings about our pain.

A distinguishing characteristic of the biomedical model is its compartmentalized view of man

Because of this observation, one began to believe that the focus of a health treatment could be exclusively on the affected area of the body, without the need to pay attention to patient’s subjectivity. By seeing pain as a merely sensory response, this model was not capable of encompassing chronic pain, since the latter is a complex process that can occur independently of tissue damage

the current understanding of chronic pain emerges: that of chronic pain as an individual experience, the result of a sum of physical, psychological, and social factors that, for this reason, cannot be approached separately from the individual who expresses pain

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When Chronic Illness Makes You World Weary

When Chronic Illness Makes You World Weary: A Guest Post | Psychology Today

A lot has happened—a lot continues to happen—in my world. The majority of what goes on is good. I have so much to be thankful for.

But then there is this illness. This chronic, relentless, imposing, hungry disease that makes Kubler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief a condiment to my daily issue du jour. It’s never ending. And now, it’s become so difficult for me to actually write. Cognitive function is on the decline. Coming up with words, making sense, tying things together…all those things that for a lifetime have come so easily, now take so much work.  Not only does it take work, it takes time.

Then there is pain. Some of it constant, some of it coming and going on a whim. I never know when, where, why. Believe me, I have spent so much time trying to figure out what causes pain—joint pain, nerve pain, GI pain, head pain… I’m giving up. Which I think, at this stage of the game is good.

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Individualized, Evidence-Based Cancer Pain Treatment Model

Experts Call for Individualized, Evidence-Based Cancer Pain Treatment Model – 7th World Congress of the World Institute of Pain (WIP), held recently in Maastricht, Netherlands

The biopsychosocial approach to individualizing assessment and treatment of cancer pain should become the mainstream approach and a new model is needed to make it even more widely accessible and implemented.

The consistent distinction between cancer pain and chronic pain of other kinds seems to be mainly for research.  With cancer pain, researchers can know with certainty what is causing it, unlike invisible chronic pain, which is always assumed to involve a psychological component.

The three-step model for pain medicine published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1986 for the management of cancer pain (​cancer/​palliative/​painladder/​en/​) is still being used but does not allow for individualized diagnosis and treatment. [see World Health Org Pain Ladder: Do We Need Another Step?]

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The Impossibility of Measuring Pain

The Pain TestDoctors have no idea how much their patients are suffering. That’s about to change – by Susannah Locke

Ally Niemiec could have lost a kidney because doctors didn’t believe she was in pain. It was last fall, and one of at least a dozen times that her rare kidney disease had sent her to the emergency room. She recognized the pain. She knew something was wrong

But when she turned up in an Atlanta emergency room that Saturday afternoon, vomiting and doubled over, no one believed her. They looked at her pain medication records and decided she had a drug abuse problem. “They told my mother that I needed to go to rehab and was a drug addict,” she says. The hospital wouldn’t give her any narcotic pain medication and refused to do an x-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan. That time, Niemiec was lucky enough to have other options. She left for another hospital, where they treated her pain and then removed her kidney stone the next morning.

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“Medical Food” for Chronic Low Back Pain

‘Medical Food’ Bests Ibuprofen in Chronic Low Back Pain

Theramine, a “medical food” containing an amino acid blend (AAB), significantly improves chronic low back pain and reduces inflammation compared with low-dose ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), or a combination of these 2 treatments, results of a new study show.

It’s believed that patients with chronic pain have decreased levels of neurotransmitters responsible for pain inhibition and control of inflammation, the authors note. There’s evidence in plasma of a deficiency of amino acid precursors that are important to chronic pain modulation

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Cannabis Science The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You to Know

The Latest Cannabis Science The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You to Know | Alternet

Scientific revelations are published almost daily in regard to the healing properties of the cannabis. But most of these findings appear solely in obscure, peer-reviewed journals and go largely unnoticed by the major media. Here are five new cannabis-centric studies that warrant mainstream attention:

1) Marijuana Use Is Associated With Decreased Mortality In TBI Patients

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with a history of cannabis use possess increased survival rates compared to non-users, according data published this month in the journal American Surgeon. UCLA Medical Center investigators conducted a three-year retrospective review of brain trauma patients.

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