Category Archives: Chronic Pain

Link between chronic pain and Alzheimer’s disease

The link between chronic pain and Alzheimer’s disease  free full-text /PMC6836339/ – J Neuroinflammation. – Nov 2019

As if lifetime brain damage weren’t enough (see Chronic Pain Causes Brain Damage), we can now add Alzheimer’s to the “adverse outcomes” of our pain.

It seems glaringly obvious that we should be seeing various measures and studies of what has happened to all the patients whose pain relief was forbidden, but there’s still nothing 3.5 years after the CDC guideline said it would study the outcomes.

It seems this cohort would be an ideal sample to use for a study on the outcomes of uncontrolled and disabling chronic pain because we have in a very short time created tens of thousands of cases of exactly that.  Continue reading

Faking or Malingering or Exaggerated Pain Behavior

‘Faking’ or ‘Malingering’ or ‘Exaggerated Pain Behaviour’ | HealthSkills Blog – 2008

It’s amazing how often health providers get asked directly or indirectly whether someone experiencing pain is ‘faking’ it.

The short answer is the most accurate – we can’t tell. We’re not lie detectors, there is no ‘gold standard’ to work out whether someone is pretending or not, and the question is based on erroneous thinking about pain and pain behaviour.

pain is not the same as pain behaviour

This is a truism because pain is something that happens to a person and pain behavior is the person’s reaction, some involuntary, some voluntary. Continue reading

Critical link between pain intensity and suicide

VA study uncovers critical link between pain intensity and suicide attempts   Oct 2019

Here’s the earthshattering conclusion of a new study:

New study finds pain intensity is a telling risk factor for suicide!

Apparently, this is BIG news for the medical community. They’ve never found such results before – probably because no one has studied it.

It saddens me that most people still don’t understand how devastating chronic pain becomes, how it upends lives and sometimes cuts them short.  Continue reading

Supplementary Neurosteroid May Reduce Pain

Novel, ‘Non-Habit Forming’ Medication May Reduce Low Back PainNancy A. Melville – Apr 2019  [It’s actually a supplement, not a “medication”.]

A novel, “non-habit-forming” neurosteroid appears to be effective and well tolerated in the treatment of chronic low back pain, new research suggests.

I’ve been exploring the benefits of supplementary neurosteroids for a while, but mainly as a remedy for my chronic anxiety. I’m thrilled to learn they could also ease pain a little.

In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial of almost 100 Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans, those treated with a pharmaceutical-grade tablet formulation of pregnenolone showed “significant and meaningful reductions” in low back pain intensity ratings at 6 weeks compared with their peers who received matching placebo, investigators report.   Continue reading

Take our Survey about Chronic Pain 2019

Take our Survey about Chronic Pain –  U.S. Pain Foundation – Sept 2019

The U.S. Pain Foundation has created a pretty good survey that you can fill out to describe how chronic pain affects your whole life.

U.S. Pain Foundation has partnered with Health Union — which offers health-focused online communities and news content — to conduct a survey, “Chronic Pain In America 2019.”

The goal? To get a better understanding of 

  • how people with chronic health conditions experience pain
  • how they navigate the health care system, and 
  • what their experiences are managing and treating chronic pain.  

Continue reading

How Did We Come to Abandon America’s Pain Patients?

How Did We Come to Abandon America’s Pain Patients? – Filter Magazine – Alison Knopf – July 2019

Overdoses—not those involving prescription opioids, but of heroin and illicit fentanyl, often combined with benzodiazepinescontinue to go up. But

And many physicians, caught in the middle, have stopped prescribing because they don’t want to get in trouble and possibly lose their livelihood.   Continue reading

Women More Adept Than Men At Discerning Pain

Women May Be More Adept Than Men At Discerning Pain : Shots – Health News : NPR – August 26, 2019 – Patti Neighmond  – Twitter

I like this article because it has links to reputable sources, like PubMed abstracts from the NIH. Unfortunately, it starts out with the usual trope:

The pathway to opioid abuse for women often starts with a prescription from the doctor’s office. [wrong, wrong, wrong…]

This is an outdated and completely incorrect myth of anti-opioid propaganda. The CDC data clearly shows that pain patients taking prescribed (for them) opioids account for only a minuscule number of the opioid overdoses, as I have posted previously:  Continue reading

Different Pain, Different Neural Circuits

Responses to External Threats and Sustained Pain Travel Via Different Neural Circuits – Practical Pain Management – By Kerri Wachter with Qiufu Ma, PhD – Jan 2019

New study outcomes in mice suggest that common pain measurement tools may be inadequate.

Different neural pathways appear to underlie

  • reflexive responses to external threats and
  • coping responses to sustained pain

I’m surprised this hasn’t been obvious to researchers because it’s certainly clear to pain patients. The experience of acute pain, like stubbing your toe, is wildly different than that of long-term pain, like failed back surgery, so it seems obvious to me that different aspects of our nervous system are involved.  Continue reading

Pain Awareness IS Suicide Prevention

Coincidentally, the month of September is “Pain Awareness Month” and its 2nd week is also “Suicide Prevention Week”.  I believe pain awareness *is* suicide prevention, so here is my yearly post about the unintended serendipity of these two awareness campaigns going on at the same time.

By now we have direct evidence that a lack of pain awareness, as demonstrated by all the politicians and healthcare “experts” enshrining the CDC “guideline” prescription opioid restrictions as law, is leading to suicides of patients with uncontrolled pain.

Can the connection become any more obvious?  Continue reading

Even Moderate Pain Associated With Suicide Risk

Moderate, Severe Chronic Pain May Be Associated With Suicide Risk in Veterans – Clinical Pain AdvisorBrandon May – Mar 2019

Pain intensity may represent a reliable indicator of suicide risk in veterans, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain.

The data of veterans who used Veterans Health Administration pain specialty services (index visit) between 2012 and 2014 were analyzed (n=221,817);

Medical records and suicide surveillance sources were used to identify suicide attempts in the year following the initiation of pain services.    Continue reading