Melatonin Affects Muscle and Exercise

Impact of Melatonin on Skeletal Muscle and Exercise – free full-text /PMC7072499/Cells. Feb 2020

Skeletal muscle disorders are dramatically increasing with human aging with enormous sanitary costs and impact on the quality of life.

Melatonin, the indole produced at nighttime in pineal and extra-pineal sites in mammalians, has recognized anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties.

Mitochondria are the favorite target of melatonin, which maintains them efficiently, scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative damage. Here, we discuss the most recent evidence of dietary melatonin efficacy in age-related skeletal muscle disorders in cellular, preclinical, and clinical studies.
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Pharmacies Sued for Discrimination Against Pain Patients

Pharmacies Sued for Discrimination Against Pain Patients — Pain News Network – by Pat Anson – Aug 2020

This is wonderful news, to finally push back against the anti-opioid forces aligned against us.

Class action complaints against Walgreens, Costco and CVS Pharmacy were filed in California and Rhode Island on behalf of two women seeking legal relief that will allow them to get their opioid prescriptions filled without delays or restrictions, and without the fear that their prescriptions will be denied. 

Pain patients in the U.S. have complained for years about pharmacists refusing to fill their opioid prescriptions or reducing them to lower doses. It’s also not uncommon for patients to encounter delays and excuses, such as a pharmacy claiming it was out of stock of a particular medication.   Continue reading

Exercise Hyped as Universal Solution to Chronic Pain

Is exercise the new snake oil? or just a dirty word? | HealthSkills Blog – by Bronnie Thompson – Aug 2020

This is a great article explaining that while exercise is generally “good for you”, it does very little to relieve pain and disability. The studies that supposedly prove this are problematic and cited more than they deserve to be.

Exercise can do all these wonderful things – help you lose weight, reduce heart disease, moderate insulin and blood glucose levels, improve your mental health, and yes! reduce pain and disability when you’re sore. (check this list out)

The claims sound suspiciously similar to the claims made by old snake oil merchants.

Qualitative researchers have often investigated how people with pain view exercise: Continue reading

DOJ Tricks Used in Prescribing Prosecution

DOJ Tricks Used in Healthcare Fraud and Prescribing Prosecution – by Ron Chapman II on twitter: @HealthcareDef – June 2020

This is a sickening view into the murky drug-war tactics that our doctors have to face any time they prescribe opioids for chronic, ongoing pain.

I have had the opportunity to represent hundreds of healthcare professionals facing scrutiny from the federal government for healthcare fraud and drug trafficking. From this perspective I have been able to see the evolving playbook utilized by the DOJ to prosecute physicians.

Here are ten tricks used by the DOJ to convict physicians and other healthcare professionals for charges of healthcare fraud and unlawful prescribing.   Continue reading

Potentially More Chronic Pain after COVID

Considering the potential for an increase in chronic pain after the COVID-19 pandemic: PAIN – August 2020

I’m immediately skeptical after noticing that the first 2 of the 4 authors specialize in various forms of mental illness: Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Psychotherapy.

  • Clauw, Daniel J. – Departments of Anesthesiology, Medicine (Rheumatology), and U Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • Häuser, Winfriedb, – Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität München, München, Germany and Department Internal Medicine I, Klinikum Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, Germany. 

The toll of this pandemic extends beyond physical illness, with important psychosocial stressors that include prolonged periods of limited interpersonal contact, isolation, fear of illness, future uncertainty, and financial strain.   Continue reading

Advice for Newcomers to Diagnosis of EDS

I was recently asked by Dr. Tennant’s group, the Intractable Pain Syndrome Research & Education Project:

  • What are the 6 things you’d recommend that have helped you with EDS, for someone who is newly diagnosed with EDS?
  • What would you tell them?

This is the advice I would give the newly diagnosed:

  1. The relief you initially feel at finally knowing what’s been causing you so much grief for so much of your life will quickly fade as the reality of dealing with an incurable degenerative illness sinks in.

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Pain Warriors: Civil Rights for Our Time

Pain Warriors: ‘A Civil Rights Movement for Our Time’ — Pain News Network – By Pat Anson, PNN Editor – May 25, 2020

A long-awaited documentary about chronic pain in North America is shining a light on the other side of the opioid crisis – how chronic pain patients and their doctors have been marginalized and persecuted in the name of fighting opioid addiction.

“Pain Warriors” is being released by Gravitas Ventures. It is available for streaming on Vimeo, iTunes and Amazon Prime or on DVD.

The 80-minute film takes an intimate look at the lives of four chronic pain patients and their loved ones, including an 11-year old boy living with cancer pain and a doctor who nearly lost his medical license due to allegations he overprescribed opioids.
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Common colds train immune system to recognize COVID

Common colds train the immune system to recognize COVID-19 | Live Science – By Rachael Rettner – Senior Writer – Aug2020

This existing immune system “memory” may explain why some people have milder COVID-19 infections.

Previous infections with common cold viruses can train the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study.

The study, published Aug. 4 in the journal Science, found that immune cells known as T cells that recognize common cold coronaviruses also recognize specific sites on SARS-CoV-2 — including parts of the infamous “spike” protein it uses to bind to and invade human cells.   Continue reading

Lower Back Pain Can Improve After Hip Replacement

Lower Back Pain Can Improve After Total Hip Replacement, by Hospital for Special Surgery July 2020

A new study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City reveals that symptomatic lower back pain resolved in 82% of patients after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and identifies which patients are more likely to have their back pain resolved. This study is available online as part of the AAOS 2020 Virtual Education Experience.

This is another example of “everything is connected to everything else” theory. It seems obvious that any asymmetry in the pelvis or hips would affect how we walk and an uneven gait would then stress the low back.

“For patients, it is important to know that hip and spine arthritis often coexist, and the majority of the time, an individual’s back pain is better after hip replacement surgery,
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How pain affects focus and attention

Here are three scientific articles about the effect of “pain” on brain functions, like focus and attention, proving that the “sensation of pain” we feel is a very “real” physiological state, not a psychological issue.

Pain Affects Visual Orientation: an Eye-Tracking Study – PubMed – Feb 2019

Because of its unique evolutionary relevance, it is understood that pain automatically attracts attention.
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