Category Archives: Chronic Pain

When Impossible Pain is, in fact, Possible

KevinMD has published one of my essays about my EDS pain:

When impossible pain is, in fact, possible

Since childhood, I’ve suffered frequent inexplicable pains related to a genetic disorder that wasn’t diagnosed until I was 54 (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome).

My article is about how my doctor’s insistence that my pain was “impossible” invalidated the agony I felt and confused me to the point that I questioned my own perception of severe pain.

Unexpected mechanism behind chronic nerve pain

Unexpected mechanism behind chronic nerve pain | News | News | Karolinska Institutet

It has long been assumed that chronic nerve pain is caused by hypersensitivity in the neurons that transmit pain.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now show that another kind of neuron that normally allows us to feel pleasant touch sensation, can switch function and instead signal pain after nerve damage.

The results, which are presented in the journal Science, can eventually lead to more effective pain treatments.  Continue reading

Cells carry ‘memory’ of injury

Cells carry ‘memory’ of injury, which could reveal why chronic pain persists | EurekAlert! Science News – May-2016

A new study from King’s College London offers clues as to why chronic pain can persist, even when the injury that caused it has gone.

Although still in its infancy, this research could explain how small and seemingly innocuous injuries leave molecular ‘footprints’ which add up to more lasting damage, and ultimately chronic pain.

While chronic pain can have many different causes, the outcome is often the same: an overly sensitive nervous system which responds much more than it normally would Continue reading

Individual differences make pain personal

Individual differences in pain: understanding the mosaic that makes pain personal: PAIN – Fillingim, Roger B. – Pain: April 2017

In Brief: The experience of pain is characterized by tremendous interindividual variability, which is driven by multiple biopsychosocial factors.

This review article discusses individual differences in pain, including the roles of demographic, genetic, and psychosocial factors and their interactions

The public can only access the first page of this report as a JPEG picture, but if you enlarge it you can read the text (even though it seems to have been intentionally blurred).  Continue reading

Damage Caused by Uncontrolled Chronic Pain

I’ve created a new reference page listing all the posts related to the damage caused by our pain:

Bodily Damage from Uncontrolled Chronic Pain

The gist of each post can be ascertained from its first paragraphs and you can then go to the link to read each post in its entirety.

I hope this information could be used to show your doctor what he’s never going to hear elsewhere these days:

Chronic pain in not “just a feeling” – it causes physical harm.

People With Chronic Pain May Die Earlier

Why People With Chronic Pain May Die EarlierKorin Miller – June 8, 2017

More than one in 10 Americans, or 25.3 million adults, suffer from pain every day, according to NIH data released in 2015.

Chronic pain seems to be just that—a serious pain—but new research has found that ongoing pain is associated with an increased risk of dying early.

For the analysis, which was published in Arthritis Care & Research, researchers looked at data from two large population cohorts of 50-year-olds.

They discovered that people who reported suffering from chronic pain had a nearly 30 percent increased risk of dying during the study.

It got worse as the pain became more intense:

People who said they had “quite a bit” of pain were 38 percent likely to die during the study, while those who were in “extreme” pain regularly had an 88 percent increased risk.  Continue reading

The Top 10 Myths of Chronic Pain

The Top 10 Myths of Chronic Pain – Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) – 11/5/2000

This document, which I found on a hospital website and annotated below, is a leftover from the “good old days” when doctors were actually obliged to provide effective pain care (and even too much in too many cases).

In the 1990’s, a lot of effort and money was spent trying to convince the public that opioids were safe if used responsibly for legitimate pain control – which they truly are, of course. Or they were before 2000, when the pendulum started heading back to the demonization of all opioids.

All the money spent publicizing and advocating for the use of opioids for proper pain control before 2000 is dwarfed by the amounts now being spent to demonize those very same opioids. Compassion for people with chronic pain evaporated. Suddenly we became lazy and self-indulgent addicts, and we were shunned.   Continue reading

Opioid crisis: Pain patients pushed to the brink

Opioid crisis: Pain patients pushed to the brink; Overdose prevention efforts have had unintended — and dire — consequences By Markian Hawryluk, The Bulletin, @markianhawryluk – Jun 5, 2017

Three weeks after her last appointment, Sonja Mae Jonsson got a call from her doctor’s office in Waldport, telling her she needed to come in. Her urine drug screen had tested positive for a drug she hadn’t been prescribed.

The doctor would no longer prescribe her any pain medication.

Linda Jonsson, a registered nurse, had taken over her daughter’s care after a traumatic brain injury when she was 32, and carefully monitored her daughter’s medications. She pleaded with the clinic they had made a mistake.

Without the pain medications, they would be condemning her daughter to a life of pain.   Continue reading

Parents Kill Child in Too Much Pain to Live

The Global Pain Crisis | Psychology Today – May 2017

Images and words of America’s opioid overdose epidemic have captured headlines and TV news feeds for the last several years.

But there’s a different image seared into my mind, a mental picture of a different little kid and two adults. This one never made it into the news, but it’s just as real. 

It took place in India, on June 1, 2014. The little boy in this scene had been suffering unbearable pain for most of his eight years, pain triggered by a severe genetic disorder. The hospital he was in, like most hospitals in India, had no morphine.

Eventually, the parents did the only thing they could think of to stop his pain.

They killed him. Continue reading

Chronic pain linked to increased risk of dementia

Chronic pain linked to increased risk of dementia in study of older adults – Medical News Today – June 2017

This study gives us good reason to demand effective treatment for our pain.

Treat us for our pain now or for our dementia later.

Allowing a patient to remain in pain causes real physical and cognitive damage.

Opioid restrictions are hazardous to patients’ health

Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that older people with persistent pain show quicker declines in memory as they age and are more likely to have dementia years later, an indication that chronic pain could somehow be related to changes in the brain that contribute to dementia. Continue reading