Category Archives: Chronic Pain

Chronic pain’s emotional toll can lead to suicide

Chronic pain’s emotional toll can lead to suicide  – By Lori Kurtzman & Mike Wagner, The Columbus Dispatch – Sep 4, 2016

There were brain surgeries and constant headaches, sleep binges that lasted for days. His right side partially frozen, Steven Lichtenberg could barely walk.

Then came Crohn’s disease, which caused regular bouts of diarrhea and nausea, leaving him keeled over. Eventually the chemo treatments, pain meds and surgeries stripped Lichtenberg of his ability to show emotion.

When life was darkest, he couldn’t even cry.

In May 2015, without warning to his loved ones, the 32-year-old Dublin man shot himself at his parents’ home.   Continue reading

MSM, Oxidative Stress, Muscle Damage, and Pain

Effects of Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) on exercise-induced oxidative stress, muscle damage, and pain following a half-marathon: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial  – free full-text PMC5521097 – 2017 Jul

Oxidative stress and muscle damage occur during exhaustive bouts of exercise, and many runners report pain and soreness as major influences on changes or breaks in training regimens, creating a barrier to training persistence.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a sulfur-based nutritional supplement that is purported to have pain and inflammation-reducing effects.

To investigate the effects of MSM in attenuating damage associated with physical exertion, this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the effects of MSM supplementation on exercise-induced pain, oxidative stress and muscle damage.   Continue reading

Being Judged: The Swinging Pendulum and Pain Mgmt

Being Judged:The Swinging Pendulum and Pain Management  Kathleen Hoffman on Apr 10, 2017

Did you know that before the year 2000, poor pain management was called a major medical problem and was synonymous with poor medical care in the US?

On January 1, 2001, Congress declared 2001 to 2010 the Decade of Pain Control and Research.

Assuring that effective pain management occurred in hospitals, in 2003, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCOH) added pain management criteria to the requirements they establish for hospital accreditation.   Continue reading

The interruptive effect of pain on attention

Cognitive load selectively influences the interruptive effect of pain on attention. – PubMed – NCBI – July 2017

Pain is known to interrupt attentional performance. Such interference effects seem to occur preferentially for tasks that are complex and/or difficult.

However, few studies have directly manipulated memory load in the context of pain interference to test this view.

Therefore, the present study examines the effect of experimental manipulations of both memory load and pain on three tasks previously found to be sensitive to pain interference.   Continue reading

Effective treatments for musculoskeletal pain

Effective treatment options for musculoskeletal pain in primary care: A systematic overview of current evidence – Jun 2017 – Free full-text PMC5480856/

These are my annotations of a very long, very thorough PubMed article on pain treatments.

Musculoskeletal pain, the most common cause of disability globally, is most frequently managed in primary care.  People with musculoskeletal pain in different body regions share similar characteristics, prognosis, and may respond to similar treatments.

This overview aims to summarise current best evidence on currently available treatment options for the five most common musculoskeletal pain presentations (back, neck, shoulder, knee and multi-site pain) in primary care.   Continue reading

The Consequences of Untreated Pain

The Consequences of Untreated Pain — Pain News Network – June 2017 – By Roger Chriss

Pain is an alarm signal requiring attention. Whether the pain lasts minutes or months, it demands a response.

To ignore pain is to invite serious consequences, from burned skin or an infected wound to a damaged joint or dysfunctional nerve. It is for this reason that healthcare professionals ask patients where it hurts.

Recent research found the consequences of untreated pain go farther and deeper than are generally recognized:   Continue reading

Pain Tolerance and C-reactive protein

C-reactive protein and cold-pressor tolerance in the general population : PAIN – July 2017

Pain and inflammation are related: systemic inflammation may lead to a variety of pain states, and, in turn, persistent pain causes an upward adjustment of proinflammatory mediators that sometimes elicit a prolonged low-grade immune response, leading to long-lasting, subclinical inflammation.

The cytokines that are produced during inflammatory responses are the main stimulators of the production of acute-phase proteins, specifically C-reactive protein (CRP).

C-reactive protein is a nonspecific systemic marker of infection, inflammation, tissue damage, malignancy, and autoimmune disease.  

Continue reading

Blaming a patients’ doubts about “getting better”

How doubts about getting better influence chronic pain treatment success | Scienmag: Latest Science and Health News – May 2017

A leading psychology professor at The University of Texas at Arlington has focused international attention on how a chronic pain patient’s irrational doubts about never getting better can influence both his reactions to pain and even treatment outcomes.

Irrational? When your pain comes from a genetic flaw, it cannot “get better”.

This dismissiveness is typical of doctors who assume your complaints are just normal aches and pains or from a temporary injury.    Continue reading

CerebroSpinal Fluid Flow and Pain Management

Editor’s Memo: Spinal Fluid Flow and Pain Managementpracticalpainmanagement.com – Editor’s Memo June 2017 By Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH

Spinal fluid flow (SFF) [also called cerebrospinal fluid, CSF] has been a silent subject in pain management.

This has to change.

For a while, pain practitioners have unknowingly been utilizing a variety of measures that likely enhance SFF.

Progressive research that involves SFF has shown how it occurs, how it may promote pain, and how it may impede treatment efforts.   Continue reading

Low Tolerance for Pain May Be Genetic

Low Tolerance for Pain May Be Genetic | WIRED– Laura Sanders – Mar 2010

One form of a common genetic variant may ratchet up pain sensitivity in people who have it, researchers report online March 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the new study, researchers led by clinical geneticist Geoffrey Woods of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research in the United Kingdom examined the DNA of 578 people with the painful condition osteoarthritis.

Woods and his colleagues searched for genetic variations that might be linked to how much pain a patient reported feeling — a subjective measure, Woods says, but currently the best researchers can do.   Continue reading