For many years, my passport was stamped in the land of the well, but a poor response to oral surgery in 2013 cancelled that document, leaving me in the land of the sick, the suffering, the other.
Once you become a chronic pain patient, as I have, you discover how much of your life is no longer your own.
Your body is still yours, but it has tenants who are squatters there, who come and go as they please, who have no respect for your rules and boundaries, who break the furniture and vomit on your carpet…
You will discover that the citizens still lucky enough to reside in the land of the well will judge you harshly.
You will try to keep a stiff upper lip and a silence about what you endure. You will try to figure out what you did to cause it, and what you haven’t done to make it stop.
On good days, though, you will remember to be grateful…
In a recent paper focusing on Low Dose Naltrexone and Fibromyalgia, Sunil Deshpande PhD, Younger and colleagues argue that this kind of intensive, individualized approach should guide not just a doctors decision regarding treatments, but a patients decision how to administer them. If it takes off it could revolutionarize how disorders are treated.
Medicine has taken a pretty standardized approach to illness. A doctor diagnoses something, looks up in his/her reference tables for the right drug and the standard dose of that drug and we’re given a prescription that says something like take x drug once in the morning every day for a month.
These researchers think people are far too complex for that to work really well particularly for people with chronic illnesses. It’s time to get personal – really personal – when treating patients.
Survivors shouldn’t suffer in silence. More and more people are surviving their cancer. Unfortunately, sometimes survival can come with pain. Although many people won’t feel any pain after their cancer treatment, some may have chronic, bothersome pain.
This is exactly what our typical chronic pain is like, yet just because it’s not cancer, it is treated with derision instead of sympathy, as though it were a completely different phenomenon.
The niggling pain reminds them of their cancer every time they perform an everyday task, like writing a grocery list. But in a very few cases, pain can be so severe that keeps people from enjoying the life they fought so hard to preserve.
BACKGROUND: With the growth in opioid therapy for the treatment of chronic pain, health care providers have focused their attention on avoiding over-use of opioid medications, specifically to avoid addiction, dependency, and other misuse. Qualitative and quantitative reviews of medication adherence, in contrast, focus primarily on why patients under-use or do not take their medications as prescribed and find nonadherence rates of approximately 25%.
RESULTS: Under-use of opioids (20%) was more common than over-use (9%), consistent with research on medication adherence. Patients who under-used their opioids offered the same reasons for under-use that patients report for other medications. However, while under-users reported more pain than other opioid users they filled only slightly fewer opioid prescriptions. Communication problems between patients and providers about opioids were common.
Nearly nine out of 10 Americans with chronic pain say they are not satisfied with the drugs they take, according to the results of a new survey that also found that half of pain patients on opioid painkillers have had suicidal thoughts.
One of the more dramatic findings of the survey is that 97% of chronic pain sufferers had at least one instance of physical or emotional trauma prior to the onset of their pain.
Although you wouldn’t know it from reading most books or articles, there are many studies looking for associations between pain and measures of postural alignment. And most of them find none.
This is in direct opposition to the previous post, which points out how bad posture can exacerbate pain. Instead of right and wrong, we can assume both points of view are valid. Whether posture increases pain or not depends on the specific pain syndrome and individual response. The great variety of pain symptoms, their causes and cures, and the individual’s responses show how little can be generalized about pain.
Although the results from these studies aren’t completely clear, most do not support the claim that bad posture causes back pain.
Here are some representative findings: Continue reading
Better pain relief may be achieved if patients do exercises and use devices that elongate the spine and promote normal posture.
The observation of the influence of postural mechanics on physiologic functions and pain has led researchers to conclude that posture plays a significant role in the development of pain and is critical to pain management.
The most significant influences of posture are upon respiration, oxygenation, and sympathetic function, which is a major component of perceived pain. Ultimately, it appears that homeostasis and autonomic regulation are intimately connected with posture
Review of the Literature Continue reading
If you have pain, this is stuff you should know.
- 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.
- Pain is an Output of the Brain, Not an Input from the Body
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,
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,