Risk for chronic opioid use low in older surgical patients

Risk for chronic opioid use low in older surgical patients | By Stephen Feller | Aug. 10, 2016

Most patients prescribed opioid-based painkillers to treat pain after surgery are at higher risk for chronic use and longer-term abuse, but researchers say that may not be true for older surgical patients.

Surgical patients older than than 66 are at very low risk for chronic use of opioids a year after surgery, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Surgery.

Researchers at Toronto General Hospital found just over half of patients received opioid prescriptions three months after surgery, and 0.4 percent (4 out of 1,000) were still using the drugs one year after surgery, suggesting most older patients don’t need the drugs for extended periods of time and do not develop problems with use.    Continue reading

Dysautonomia: Types and Symptoms

Dysautonomia: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments – Medical News Today

Dysautonomia is not a single disorder, the term describes a number of conditions which affect the autonomic nervous system. This section of the nervous system controls automatic body functions, like heart rate and breathing.

dysautonomia affects an estimated 70 million people worldwide.

In this article, we will describe some of the different types of dysautonomia, their symptoms, and treatments.   Continue reading

Hey CDC, “I’m not who you think I am!”

Hey CDC, “I’m not who you think I am!” – by Angelika

I’m offended by the CDC opioid prescribing guidelines, with their assumption that I’m stupid and lazy (if my pain is even real in the first place) and that my doctor is ignorant and negligent.

I’m insulted by the derogatory appraisal of patient behavior and appalled that the CDC has broadcast such a devastatingly negative stereotype of pain patients

Coming from the government’s “Center for Disease Control”, these guidelines stigmatize patients with the authority of the US government behind them.

Read the entire article at the National Pain Report.

Disability Resources You May Not Know About

Disability Resources You May Not Know About — Pain News Network – August 22, 2016 – By Barby Ingle, Columnist

Over the past 20 years I have had many ups and downs with my health and my finances. After losing my job and company, I had to rely on food stamps, church food banks, and county mental health support groups.

We need to invest time to make sure that the resources available to us are being utilized. There are Social Security programs, Medicare, Medicaid, state assistance programs, utility company programs, handicapped bus passes and car licenses, to name some of them.

Knowing what each one is and how it can be used is important. For instance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) comes from general tax revenues, not social security tax funds.   Continue reading

The Neurobiology of Grace Under Pressure

The Neurobiology of Grace Under Pressure | Psychology Today

Researchers continue to confirm that daily habits of mindset and behavior can create a positive snowball effect through a feedback loop linked to stimulating your vagus nerve.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing—with a long, slow exhale—is key to stimulating the vagus nerve and slowing heart rate and blood pressure, especially in times of performance anxiety.

  • A higher vagal tone index is linked to physical and psychological well-being.
  • A low vagal tone index is linked to inflammation, negative moods, loneliness, and heart attacks.  

Continue reading

Practical Approaches to Meditation

Meditation Benefits: 10 Ways It Helps Your Mind – PsyBlog

This article is the first in a series about meditation. The 11 articles make meditation a simple task that can be done at any time of day and in many diverse situations.

I know the benefits of a true consistent practice are tremendous, but the way this practice (and the silly mental visualizations that go with it) are described for pain sound more like marketing than therapy.

Additionally, the physical constraints make traditional meditation difficult for an EDS patient like me. Even for 30 minutes, I can neither sit completely still nor make repetitive movements like slow walking without pain.  

Continue reading

Facts about your body’s endocannabinoid system

11 mind-blowing facts about your body’s endocannabinoid system

How is it that one plant – cannabis – can treat so many different illnesses?

The answer lies in our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Most people have yet to hear about the ECS, but as the world comes to better understand this crucial system, we continue to unlock the secrets of cannabis as medicine while understanding more about human health in general.

Here are some quick facts to get you up to speed – some of them might shock you!  



History of Pain: The Nature of Pain

History of Pain: The Nature of PainPractical Pain Management – November 21, 2013  

This is a long, informative article explaining how pain happens.

Our thinking regarding the nature of pain has shifted over the past four centuries from the linear dualistic concepts of Descartes to the Gate Control Theory of Pain, a more global model that includes affective components of pain

The evolution of scientific research has helped us appreciate that the pain experience is more complex and highly multifaceted from the subjective to the specific.

This article will discuss the nature of pain with some general assumptions based on our current understanding and then move to more specific considerations.   Continue reading

NIH Info about Disorders of Connective Tissue

Questions and Answers about Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue from NIH

This publication contains general information about heritable (genetic) disorders of connective tissue (HDCTs).

It describes what they are, what causes them, and diagnosis and treatment options. Highlights of current research are also included.

What Are Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue?  

Continue reading

Sharp Increases in Fentanyl-Involved Overdoses

Sharp Increases in Fentanyl-Involved Overdoses – from CDC mailing list email

From 2013 to 2014, law enforcement encounters (drug submitted for analysis) testing positive for fentanyl sharply increased in a growing number of states, according to two new articles published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Synthetic opioid-involved overdose deaths including fentanyl have also increased in multiple states.

Recent investigations in Ohio and Florida provide strong evidence that increases in fentanyl deaths do not involve prescription fentanyl but are primarily related to illicitly-made fentanyl.   Continue reading