Category Archives: Chronic Pain

Pain Warriors: Civil Rights for Our Time

Pain Warriors: ‘A Civil Rights Movement for Our Time’ — Pain News Network – By Pat Anson, PNN Editor – May 25, 2020

A long-awaited documentary about chronic pain in North America is shining a light on the other side of the opioid crisis – how chronic pain patients and their doctors have been marginalized and persecuted in the name of fighting opioid addiction.

“Pain Warriors” is being released by Gravitas Ventures. It is available for streaming on Vimeo, iTunes and Amazon Prime or on DVD.

The 80-minute film takes an intimate look at the lives of four chronic pain patients and their loved ones, including an 11-year old boy living with cancer pain and a doctor who nearly lost his medical license due to allegations he overprescribed opioids.
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Lower Back Pain Can Improve After Hip Replacement

Lower Back Pain Can Improve After Total Hip Replacement, by Hospital for Special Surgery July 2020

A new study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City reveals that symptomatic lower back pain resolved in 82% of patients after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and identifies which patients are more likely to have their back pain resolved. This study is available online as part of the AAOS 2020 Virtual Education Experience.

This is another example of “everything is connected to everything else” theory. It seems obvious that any asymmetry in the pelvis or hips would affect how we walk and an uneven gait would then stress the low back.

“For patients, it is important to know that hip and spine arthritis often coexist, and the majority of the time, an individual’s back pain is better after hip replacement surgery,
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How pain affects focus and attention

Here are three scientific articles about the effect of “pain” on brain functions, like focus and attention, proving that the “sensation of pain” we feel is a very “real” physiological state, not a psychological issue.

Pain Affects Visual Orientation: an Eye-Tracking Study – PubMed – Feb 2019

Because of its unique evolutionary relevance, it is understood that pain automatically attracts attention.
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EDS: Analysis of Current Treatment Options

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: An Analysis of the Current Treatment Options – Pain Physician – 2020

Background: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a multifaceted disease that can present with a variety of types of pain.

Unfortunately, both the mechanisms and treatments for pain are poorly understood. The proposed treatments for the various musculoskeletal pain syndromes in EDS have had variable success, and it becomes much more imperative to better define and evaluate the current treatment modalities in treating this debilitating disease.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the currently available treatment modalities for patients with EDS and their efficacies in pain and symptom relief.  Continue reading

Genetic Polymorphisms and Pain

Genetic Polymorphisms: Understanding Their Relationship With Cancer Pain – Clinical Pain Advisor – by Vicki Moore, PhD – June 2020

Cancer pain is no different than any other pain and this article explains why and how genetic factors are critical in determining opioid doses.

The Genetic Connection

In addition to genetic polymorphisms associated with the experience of pain, several SNPs have been linked to responses to pain analgesia, such as with opioid therapy.

Although opioids are often an efficacious therapy for pain related to cancer, patients may show varying responses to opioid treatment in association with SNPs in OPRM1, COMT, ABCB1 and other genes.   Continue reading

Brain Damage from Chronic Pain

The Damaging Effects of Chronic Pain on the Brain – – originally posted 2015 is a defunct website (2008-2014), but still holds a lot of interesting and useful information.

How Does Chronic Pain Change Behavior?

Now, it is one thing to talk about changes in the brain, but what most of us will find important is how brain changes affect behavior and personality. Previous research has found a number of changes in mental function caused by chronic pain. 

One example is that those suffering from chronic pain have difficulty making even simple decisions and interacting with other people.

This has become a serious and embarrassing problem for me.   Continue reading

Annie Lennox Publicizes Her Chronic Pain

Annie Lennox Calls For Urgent Action For Those In Chronic Pain – Annie Lennox – June 2020

This is from Ms. Lennox’ own website where she advocates for continuing services for pain patients during the COVID lockdown.

Annie Lennox has called for action over the “intolerable” suffering of chronic pain patients during lockdown.

Annie called it “indecent and inhumane to leave people to suffer”.   She was referring to the continuing closure of NHS specialist pain clinics. 

This general lack of concern for pain patients certainly is “indecent and inhumane” when we are denied effective pain relief as though it weren’t important just because we won’t die from it.  Continue reading

Physical Activity as Cause and Cure of Muscular Pain

Physical Activity as Cause and Cure of Muscular Pain: Evidence of Underlying Mechanisms – free full-text /PMC5473374/ – July 2017

This article interested me because I’ve long noticed that exercise both increases and decreases pain, usually initially increasing but over time (days or weeks) decreasing.

I’m always having to balance my activity and rest to keep a positive effect, doing both, but not too much of either one.

I had not paid attention to the difference between occupational (or physical) therapy (OT) and “leisure time physical activity” (LTPA). This article explains why I haven’t progressed much in my physical therapy routines: they involve static load, repetitive movements, and high peak forces, All of these are damaging to a body with a connective tissue disorder, like EDS.  Continue reading

EDS: Severe GI Symptoms, Reduced Quality of Life

Hypermobile EDS Linked to Severe GI Symptoms, Reduced Quality of Life – by Jose Marques Lopes, PhD – September 12, 2018

I’m glad to read this and see that “it’s not only me” who has constant upsets in my guts. I was having these problems even when I was still in college, long before (30 years) I found out I had EDS.

Patients with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) have an increased prevalence and severity of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, and use more potentially damaging medications than healthy people without the disorder, according to a new study.

Studies have reported frequent occurrence of GI symptoms in patients with connective tissue hypermobility, especially in patients with hEDS.

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Effects of Social Distancing on Body and Brain

The Effects of Social Distancing on Body and Brain — BrainPost | Easy-to-read summaries of the latest neuroscience publications – Post by Anastasia Sares – June 2020

This virus is a true biopsychosocial disaster – very similar to the impact of chronic pain when we can no longer participate in active social lives or our favorite pursuits – but I don’t see anyone suggesting we are catastrophizing about it.

Humans evolved to be social with one another, and we function best when we have strong relationships and regular social contact.

However, in many cities, half or more of the inhabitants live alone, and in the current COVID-19 pandemic, people are additionally deprived of in-person interactions at work and social gatherings.

It is a good time to remind ourselves of the far-reaching impacts of loneliness and find ways to mitigate it.  Continue reading