Category Archives: Uncategorized

Patient Abandonment in the Name of Opioid Safety

Patient Abandonment in the Name of Opioid Safety | Pain Medicine | Oxford Academic – March 2013 – Stephen J. Ziegler, PhD, J.D.

This article speaks so directly to our current concerns that It’s hard to believe it’s almost 5 years old. Despite these years of increasing restrictions that have dramatically decreased opioid prescribing, opioid overdoses just keep going up.

In the political arena, when two branches of government are headed in one direction, the other branch is often dragged along in the process.

This also appears to be the case with prescription opioid policy, but instead of political branches, well-meaning researchers and politicians are dragging prescribers in a direction that could result in patient abandonment.   Continue reading

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Meditation Does/Does Not Activate Endogenous Opioids

Two studies tested the effect of meditation on endogenous opioids and came to the opposite conclusion, only 3 months apart.

  • March 2017: The results demonstrate that meditation-based pain relief does not require endogenous opioids
  • July 2017: These findings show, for the first time, that meditation involves endogenous opioid pathways, mediating its analgesic effect

Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids. – PubMed – NCBI – 2016 Mar   Continue reading

7 Ways that Chronic Pain Changes the Brain

7 Ways that Chronic Pain Changes the Brain – by Margaret Aranda, MD – July 2017

An automated meta-analysis of 420 imaging studies – pain’s effect on the brain.

Neurosynth.org uses functional connectivity and coactivation mapping from thousands of MRI images (each comprised of many cuts of images) are automated to show a final result of pain’s effect on the brain. Created and maintained by Tal Yarkoni. Supported by NIH Grant R01MH096906.   Continue reading

Free market doesn’t work for health care – Re-post

Free market ideology doesn’t work for health care | Center for Public Integrity – June 8, 2015 – By Wendell Potter

I believe this is the crux of the healthcare crisis. Costs keep rising for patients because more and more money-siphoning layers are inserted between them and their doctors.

Patient care now is passed from one corporate “healthcare service” to the next, each of which is making some profit. While this healthcare business creates a whole new crop of rich executives, aggressive corporate “cost-cutting” (i.e. profiteering)  is decimating the ranks of healthcare workers.  Continue reading

A Protein Implicated in Cancer Also Plays a Role in Pain

From People to Mice to Flies: A Protein Implicated in Cancer Also Plays a Role in Pain – RELIEF: PAIN RESEARCH NEWS, INSIGHTS AND IDEAS – Allison Marin – Oct 2017

Drugs that quiet the activity of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a protein that plays a role in the growth and survival of cells, are widely used to treat some types of lung, pancreatic, colorectal, and breast cancers.

Interestingly, case reports and clinical trials have found that people who take these drugs report feeling less pain and a significant improvement in quality of life.

While researchers originally thought these positive effects on pain occur because the drugs shrink the size of tumors, recent studies have shown this is not the case, since the benefits remained even when the tumors did not shrink.   Continue reading

Profiteers of Tragedy: Making Money Off Opioid Addicts

Profiteers of Tragedy: Making Money Off America’s Opioid Addicts – Oct 2017

The opioid epidemic has given rise to an illicit gold rush as patient brokers and treatment centers exploit desperate addicts, funneling them to shoddy treatment centers and fraudulent “sober” homes at a profit of thousands per head.

The profiteering, unfolding in communities across the country, has bilked insurers out of millions and created a shady subculture that takes advantage of a vulnerable population.   Continue reading

Blood Vessels Main Source of Fibro Pain

Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved! Researchers Find Main Source of Pain – July 14, 2017 – By M G Rana, MD.

Researchers came to believe that the root cause of pain in fibromyalgia does not stem from the brain.

This finding contradicts the old beliefs and myths that were said about fibromyalgia. It was once thought that this was just an imaginary disease and it had no relation with reality. People and doctors considered it a psychological or self-imagined disease.

But now some information about this disease has been revealed after a lot of studies and it is said that the pain may originate from areas having excess  blood vessels like hands, legs, and feet.   Continue reading

Warning: Persistent Post-Surgical Pain Common

Persistent Postsurgical Pain – Practical Pain Management

Surgery is often counterproductive for chronic pain, so beware!

More than 45 million surgical procedures are performed in the United States each year. It has been estimated that acute postoperative pain will develop into persistent postoperative pain (PPP) in 10% to 50% of individuals after common operations.

Since chronic pain can be severe in up to 10% of these patients, PPP represents a major clinical problem—affecting at least 450,000 people each year.  Continue reading

Pain Patients Lobby For ‘Bill Of Rights’

Chronic Pain Patients Lobby For ‘Bill Of Rights’–  By Corin Cates-Carney – Mar 2016

Today state lawmakers heard from chronic pain patients who want to reform Montana’s policy regarding access to pain medications like opioids.

Casey Brock from Glendive and Terri Anderson from Hamilton call the reform ‘The Montana Pain Patients’ Bill of Rights.”

Chronic pain patients and doctors in Montana talk about the challenge of helping legitimate patients while fighting an “epidemic” of prescription drug abuse nationwide.

Though the CDC guidelines were merely suggestions for primary care doctors, they have been used to mandate opioid prescription tapering for everyone on opioids, even without medical cause.   Continue reading

Opioid Tracking Is Killing Americans

The Heroin Gap in Opioid Tracking Is Killing Americans | Cato Institute By Jeffrey A. Singer – This article appeared on The Hill on August 24, 2017.

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are state-based data banks that track opioid and other controlled substances prescribed by healthcare providers and filled by patients at pharmacies.

They are supposed to cut down on the abuse and overuse of such substances by reducing the rate at which physicians prescribe opioids.

While many policy makers think they’re a great idea, they may be actually contributing to the rise in opioid overdose deaths.   Continue reading