What I Learned at the Weed Dispensary

What I Learned at the Weed Dispensary – The New York Times

This article points out that medical marijuana clinics not only  give patients access to marijuana, but also excel in giving advice, answering questions, and sharing experience.

These are factors with clear benefit to patients, but the “medical industry” has written them off as too expensive. However, there are ways to accomplish them without excessive costs.

THE first time you meet Robin, it’s easy to be misled by her fragile appearance. She’s in her 40s and painfully thin, and she grips her aluminum walker with hands that have been twisted by rheumatoid arthritis. But she’s both tough and resourceful, and she doesn’t give up easily  Continue reading

Reality Of Chronic Pain is Different From The Movies

The Reality Of Chronic Pain Is Different From The Movies | Ravishly

The current hype surrounding Jennifer Aniston is … about her Golden Globe nomination for Cake, in which she portrays a woman with chronic pain. Additional hype comes from the fact that she was “snubbed” for an Oscar nomination.

When I finally saw the film I was impressed; Aniston’s portrayal of pain was so raw, so intense, and so spot on.

But rather than discussing this film as a great step forward for a nuanced portrayal of what it’s like for someone to experience chronic pain,

the media (I feel) has used this movie instead, as a cautionary tale of addiction.   Continue reading

Low Vit D Linked to Fatigue & Pain in Fibro Patients

Vitamin D Levels Associated With Fatigue, Musculoskeletal Pain in Patients With Fibromyalgia

Researchers from Seoul presented study results on vitamin D deficiency in patients with rheumatic diseases at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) in Rome, June 10-13.

The poster entitled: “Vitamin D status and the efficacy of high-dose intramuscular cholecalciferol on musculoskeletal pain and morning fatigue in patients with chronic rheumatic diseases” [Included below] was presented during the session “Fibromyalgia and pain in rheumatic diseases”.   Continue reading

CDC Reports on Opioids Appear Biased

CDC Reports on Opioids Appear Biased — Pain News Network |  July 23, 2015 | By Lynn Webster, MD

It is not an option to deny people in pain access to opioids if alternatives are nonexistent or unavailable.”

If only more people, and especially decision-makers, would understand this simple point! Research and financing should focus on making treatment alternatives existent and available instead of confusing the pain problem with the addiction problem.

I respect the opinion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is our first and last line of defense against everything from chronic disease to full-fledged pandemics. That said, I am perplexed why the CDC would sound an alarm, while at the same time acknowledging that the fire doesn’t actually exist.  Continue reading

Finally a Fix for Migraines?

The Pharma Industry Thinks It Finally Has a Fix for Migraines – Bloomberg Business

Four drugmakers are working …by bringing to market the first generation of drugs developed to prevent migraines. The products, designed to target a peptide known to touch off the pain attacks, all have blockbuster potential.

An early look at the drugs Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Amgen Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., and Alder Biopharmaceuticals have developed shows they work for about half of migraine victims tested, snuffing out some of the episodes that wreck their lives.

The real motivation is not to relieve suffering, but to make money, but this seems to be the only motivation that spurs research. The ends justifies the means… Continue reading

Pain Patients Should Come First, Not Addiction

Pain Patients Should Come First — Pain News Network | By Janice Reynolds,

In the media, the persistent pain patient should always come first — before the stories of addiction, overdoses and the inferences of poorly done studies linking the two with pain treatment.

The risk of addiction should be a concern, but not at the forefront. Those seeing addiction as an “epidemic” linked with pain management have no valid research on which to base their concerns, only the media and addiction specialist hysteria.

Unfortunately, many professionals as well as the general public are not only influenced by the media but learn from it as well.

I’ve previously published several essays suggesting the same thing:

Continue reading

Exercises for Proprioception in Patients with JHS

Amelioration of symptoms by enhancement of proprioception in patients with joint hypermobility syndrome – Ferrell – 2004 – Arthritis & Rheumatism – Wiley Online Library


Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) is characterized by an association between joint hypermobility and musculoskeletal pains, the latter occurring in the absence of any objective indicator of rheumatic disease.

The lack of a recognizable disease marker makes this condition difficult to identify and manage.

We previously observed that patients with JHS have impaired proprioception compared with that of a matched control group. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a home-based exercise program could produce objective enhancement of proprioception as well as alleviate symptoms in JHS.   Continue reading

Expaining Pain to People who Don’t Have it

It seems a big part of our problem with getting access to effective pain treatment is that people without chronic pain don’t understand how agonizing  and soul-crushing it is to live with.

I was asked to write about this for the National Pain Report, but no one else seems to have any ideas either.

My Story: How Do You Explain Chronic Pain to Someone Who Doesn’t Have It?

Do you?

Vagus Nerve Affects Physical and Mental Health

Recently, there’s been much interest in the vagus nerve, expecially since researchers recently claim to have found the ‘Missing link’ between brain and immune system discovered

A search on this blog turned up several previous articles relating to the Vagus nerve and how it affects both our mental and physical health. It even looks as though Vagus nerve stimulation could reverse Fibromyalgia.

I’ve put all these articles together as a review of Vagus nerve functionContinue reading

Self-proclaimed Experts “Overclaim” Knowledge

Self-proclaimed experts more vulnerable to the illusion of knowledge | July 20, 2015 | Association for Psychological Science

New research reveals that the more people think they know about a topic in general, the more likely they are to allege knowledge of completely made-up information and false facts, a phenomenon known as “overclaiming.” The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Our work suggests that the seemingly straightforward task of judging one’s knowledge may not be so simple, particularly for individuals who believe they have a relatively high level of knowledge to begin with,” says psychological scientist Stav Atir of Cornell University, first author on the study.   Continue reading