Contrarian Thinking in Pain Research

Contrarian Thinking in Pain Research: A Conversation with Marshall Devor | Jul 2012

With anesthetics, we’ve got a series of molecules that, at appropriate doses, completely block the most intense pain imaginable. They have other interesting effects as well, like making a person unconscious.

And we found one little spot—not too far from the PAG, but not in the PAG—where if you inject a tiny amount of anesthetic, as little as a thousandth of the systemic dose, the animal loses consciousness, loses righting reflex, and loses response to noxious stimuli.

This suggests that anesthetic molecules, at least the barbiturates, may be working on a small cluster of neurons, and that the four things they do—turning off pain, movement, memory, and consciousness—are done by neural networks  Continue reading

7 Things You Should Tell Congress About Pain

7 Things You Should Tell Congress About Pain — Pain News Network by Janice Reynolds

With all the shock, discussion, and fear the CDC’s so-called “guidelines” have raised, another threat has slipped past us.  That threat is legislative involvement in pain medication, as well as the belief that addiction to prescription medication is out of control and the Food and Drug Administration is derelict in its duties.

Addiction to prescription medications is declining due to costs and abuse deterrent formulas.

Remember all the panic and hysteria with the approval of Zohydro?  It has been over a year without problems, not that anyone who cried “wolf” about Zohydro has followed up on that.  Continue reading

Global ‘War on Drugs” Causes Millions to Suffer

War on drugs means millions are needlessly dying in pain | CNN | By Ruth Dreifuss, Anand Grover and Michel Kazatchkine, Special to CNN | November 17, 2015

Millions of people are dying in pain because of the repressive stance the world has taken on drugs. That’s because states are obsessed by the fear that people will use controlled medicines such as morphine as recreational drugs, thereby neglecting their important medical uses.

Where you live determines whether you will be able to access to controlled medicines, particularly opiates, when confronting an acute terminal, chronic or painful illness.

  • Ninety-two per cent of the world’s morphine is consumed by only 17% of the world’s population, primarily the United States and Europe.
  • Seventy-five percent of the world’s people in need do not have access to pain relieving medicine.   Continue reading

Hurt People Hurt People

Hurt People Hurt People: Bottom Line | noonegetsflowersforchronicpain

“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.”

This is one of the most important life lessons one could ever learn for both a person who is hurting another and for the subject being hurt.  This is why I never judge another person for almost anything he or she does.

Hurt people hurt others and ninety-nine percent of the time what is said or done to hurt the receiver of anger has nothing to do with him or her.  

No happy persons hurts another.  This is so damn important to remember.

Try and remember that you hate chronic pain, you do not hate yourself.  



Experts decide how much you should sit versus stand

Health experts have figured out how much time you should sit each day – The Washington Post

Researchers have known about the link between inactivity and higher rates of sickness and mortality dating back to studies of bus drivers and office-based postal workers in the 1950s.

And more recent observational studies comparing workers who sit for long periods against those who sit for fewer hours have found that sedentary workers have more than twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a 13 percent increased risk of cancer and 17 percent increased risk of dying.


Childhood Maltreatment Changes Brain

Childhood Maltreatment Changes Cortical Network Architecture and May Raise Risk for Substance Use | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Childhood maltreatment alters children’s brain development in ways that may increase their risk for substance use and other mental disorders in adulthood.

This study focuses exclusively on the “risk of substance abuse” and not at all on all the other mental disorders brought on by maltreatment. Then again, what else can we expect from,  the people who are still only looking for the evils of drugs and excluding all other views.

NIDA-supported study, researchers found that young adults who had been maltreated as children differed from others who had not been maltreated in the connectivity of nine cortical regions.  Continue reading

Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought

Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say | WashingtonPost

New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead

Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature.   Continue reading

Cymbalta and Lyrica in Legal Battles

Cymbalta and Lyrica in Legal Battles | Health Cure Center

The makers of Cymbalta and Lyrica – two blockbuster drugs widely used to treat fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions – face legal battles this summer that could potentially cost the companies billions of dollars.

In London, a court case begins next week on Pfizer’s efforts to keep doctors in the U.K. from prescribing pregabalin – a cheaper generic version of Lyrica.

And in Los Angeles, a federal judge this week ordered Eli Lilly to face claims in lawsuits alleging that the company misled consumers about the side effects of withdrawal from Cymbalta.   Continue reading

Improving Common Tests for Pain for Patient Satisfaction

Why Improving Common Tests for Pain is Essential to Patient Satisfaction – MPR 

This article in a doctor-oriented journal seems more concerned with patient satisfaction scores than quality medical care.

Clinicians involved in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain pathologies are frequently looking for tools that can change the way tests are ordered, interpreted, and used to improve the care of their patients. Understanding when a test is necessary not only assists with determining a diagnosis, but it also improves patient satisfaction.

Not only are many procedures unnecessary, some are actually harmful and can lead to mistaken diagnosis or endless rounds of follow-up testing when nothing is wrong,” said David M. Glick, DC, DAAPM, CPE.   Continue reading

Does Anyone Understand the Opioid Problem?

Does Anyone Understand the Opioid Problem, or Even Know One Important Solution? | National Pain Report

There’s a lot of attention going to opioid abuse, overdose and death in the media and government circles recently.

In its effort to quell the problem, the CDC has drafted guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain that focuses on selection of the opioid, its dosage, its duration of use, follow-up and discontinuation of use

there is a problem with this simplistic view:

  • “There is no universal understanding of chronic pain.
  • There is no universal solution to the problem; in fact, there is no solution.
  • There is no universal definition of what chronic pain management actually is.

A physician is judged how well his judgment follows the evidence base.

  • What happens if there is no reliable evidence base?  
  • What happens if a problem is so complex that that it defies study?
  • Who defines what the reliable evidence base actually is?

The media, including a recent story by 60 Minutes, and the White House are lumping heroin use and abuse with pain management.

While heroin and legal pain medicines share being labeled as opioids, their use and purpose are vastly different.

There is a strong disconnect between pain sufferers who rely on legal opioids to help manage pain and the media and government who are trying to rebound frightening statistics about abuse, overdose and death from opioids

Well, many say there needs to be a decoupling of drug abuse (either of heroin or illegally obtained opioids) and the legal and necessary use of opioids in pain management in the public discourse.

But, that’s not happening, as the voice of the pain sufferer who needs opioids rarely gets heard.

  • Government says it’s a prescribing problem.  
  • Pain sufferers say it’s a drug abuse problem.
  • The media says whatever sounds most salacious.

Even though the public discourse likely won’t decouple the good from the bad with respect to the topic of opioids, there is a campaign that recently started that makes sense for all.

It’s called “America Starts Talking,” which is an initiative created to call on anyone taking an opioid, as well as their loved ones, to learn more about safe use, potential side effects, and how to recognize and respond in an opioid emergency, such as accidental overdose.

One of the key messages from the campaign – something many people have no idea exists – is to have the antidote to opioid overdose – naloxone (Narcan®) – at the ready to rapidly intervene in the event of an opioid overdose.

My doctor offered this to me and I accepted, thinking there was no harm in having an opioid overdose antidote around “just in case” for me or even someone else.

However, I found out it would cost me $300 WITH INSURANCE.

Just like the time-release and abuse-resistant formulas all the experts say we should be taking, all the most recommended pain medications are unaffordable – especially for those of us living on a meager disability payment.

Only the generic, instant release opioid tablets are affordable, and then the pain relief goes up and down all day long.

“Many people think an opioid emergency could never happen to them but the truth is it can happen to anyone where an opioid may be present,”

This message is for drug users / abusers as much as it is for those legally taking opioids.  In fact, research from shows that drug users / abusers are willing to give naloxone to one another.

No one wants to have a loved one or friend overdose or die from opioids, and if everyone taking an opioid (legally or not) knew about naloxone, perhaps those very real and sad statistics from the CDC might start falling.

Author: Doug Lynch is a former chronic pain patient who worked in the pain industry for ten years. He is a partner in the National Pain Report.