Piriformis Syndrome, Sciatica or Both?

Piriformis Syndrome, Sciatica or Both?

Sciatica is a type of chronic pain which is characterized by pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg.

The cause of sciatica is often due to an injury or compression of the sciatic nerve.

It serves as a symptom of another medical problem and is not a condition on its own so knowing the cause of sciatica is paramount for the right treatment

Pain arising from an inflamed sciatic nerve can occur from low back disease, pelvic injury, lesions pressing on the nerve, piriformis syndrome, or the presence of myofascial trigger points.   Continue reading

Adding Genetic Testing to Evidence-Based Guidelines

Adding Genetic Testing to Evidence-Based Guidelines to Determine the Safest and Most Effective Chronic Pain Treatment for Injured Workers | Int J Biomed Sci. 2015 Dec | free full-text PMC article

Published guidelines for treating injured workers [why only injured workers?] include the need for personalized treatment to manage chronic pain symptoms and increase functional status.

However, they often fail to clarify how to objectively personalize these treatments. Further, certain patients need analgesic relief beyond the short term.

In these cases, it is not sufficient or reasonable to utilize the typical broad protocol-based justifications for reduction of opioids and other medications in a haphazard manner based purely on poor response, without attempting to elucidate possible pharmacogenetic reasons for this.   Continue reading

Living well with chronic pain, is it possible?

Living well with chronic pain, is it possible? Might it be necessary? – MyCuppaJo.com

What is success when it comes to treating or managing chronic pain?

This is a topic that gets debated quite a bit in chronic pain treatment circles.

What ought the end goal of treatment be? What success looks like. Is it being pain-free? Is it living well with pain?

It makes intuitive sense that the goal of chronic pain treatment should be be alleviate and eventually eradicate pain. But when I was in that camp I found that I had put my life on hold until I could attain success, until I was pain-free.   Continue reading

Conflicts of Interest With Federal Pain Panel

Senator Raises Red Flags About Conflicts of Interest With Federal Pain Panel April 2016

Accusations of conflicts of interest are everywhere in the opioid debate. However, the anti-opioid side does not believe they are tainted – only the other side.

The ties to PROP and Phoenix House motivate members to lobby aggressively against opioids so that the recovery services they sell will be flooded with court-mandated customers.

Yet, here is a senator insisting that anti-prohibitionists are being funded by pharmaceutical companies.   Continue reading

Addiction More Like a Learning Disorder Than a Disease

Maybe Addiction Is More Like a Learning Disorder Than a Disease – Gizmodo – Apr 2016

In her new book, Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, journalist Maia Szalavitz argues that a better way to understand addiction is to view it more as a developmental disorder, like autism or dyslexia. Only then can addiction be effectively prevented and treated.

The book is a skillful mix of science, reporting, and personal memoir, drawing not just on 25-plus years of research on addiction and Szalavitz’s extensive reporting, but also her own experiences as an addict in her early 20s, when she was shooting heroin and cocaine as many as 40 times a day. (You can read an excerpt from the book here.)

Gizmodo sat down with Szalavitz to learn more about her audacious idea.   Continue reading

Pain and Addiction Should Be Treated Separately

Pain and Addiction Should Be Treated Separately — Pain News Network – By Emily Ulrich, Columnist

Andrew Kolodny, MD, the founder and Executive Director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), whose name seems to be six degrees of separation from all movements to thwart proper pain care, has submitted a petition asking Medicare to stop requiring hospitals to survey patients about the quality of their pain management.

A group of U.S. senators has gone even further, introducing the PROP Act in Congress, which would prevent Medicare by law from making “any assessments” of pain in hospitalized patients.

As I and others have written, pain is not merely discomfort.     Continue reading

Adult idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Evolving evidence in adult idiopathic intracranial hypertension: pathophysiology and management — Mollan et al. — Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry — February 2016

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a rare but important disease associated with significant morbidity.

The pathophysiology of IIH is incompletely characterised; suggested underpinning mechanisms include the role of cerebrospinal fluid regulation as well as metabolic and endocrinological perspectives

This review will provide an up-to-date discussion on the potential pathogenic mechanisms and management of IIH.   Continue reading

Montana’s ‘Pain Refugees’ Leave State For Treatment

Montana’s ‘Pain Refugees’ Leave State For Treatment | MTPR

Health care officials in Montana report that the abuse here is worse than the national average. But the casualties of the opioid epidemic are not all addicts and drug abusers.

The others call themselves pain refugees. They say that finding doctors willing to help them in Montana is almost impossible, and the only way they can get the treatment and relief they need is to fly out of state.

On a recent mid-afternoon flight out of Missoula, Gary Snook is among three chronic pain patients leaving in search of relief.   Continue reading

Exercise for Bone Strength: True or False

Below are two contradictory articles about exercise and bone strength, one from the NY Times in 2016, and the other from the NIH in 2015.

It’s frightening how even simple concepts like this can be viewed and publicized to support two opposing views.

Exercise for Your Bone Health – NIH – May 2015

Vital at every age for healthy bones, exercise is important for treating and preventing osteoporosis.

This familiar concept sounds  logical and true.  Continue reading

Painkiller Myths

The Truth About Your Painkillers: 6 Biggest Myths Debunked

Richard Rosenquist, MD, Chairman of Pain Management at Cleveland Clinic, debunks six common myths about prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.  

The Truth About Your Painkillers: 6 Biggest Myths Debunked

Below are five more articles about painkiller myths that I stumbled across. I’ve already posted so many of these kinds of articles, I’ll just give the links here and let you explore on your own. Continue reading