Small fiber neuropathy in fibromyalgia

Many Fibromyalgia Patients Have Small-Fiber Polyneuropathy – October 18, 2012 – medscape.com – Daniel M. Keller, PhD

In a small study of patients labeled as having fibromyalgia, almost half actually had small-fiber polyneuropathy (SFPN), a potentially treatable condition.

Dr. Oaklander noted that despite an emphasis on central mechanisms as the cause of fibromyalgia, these findings suggest that a specific — and sometimes treatable — type of peripheral neuropathy is a common cause of the condition.

It seems like quite a leap to assume the neuropathy is the *cause* of fibromyalgia. Another article from 4 years later (summarized below) suggests the opposite: that fibromyalgia is the cause of the peripheral neuropathy.  Continue reading

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Is Suicide a Consequence of the CDC Opioid Guideline?

Is Suicide a Consequence of the CDC Opioid Guideline? – Pain Medicine News – AUGUST 11, 2016 – By Lynn R. Webster, MD

The law of unintended consequences states that the actions of people, and especially of governments, always have effects that are unanticipated, as when legislation and regulation aimed at righting a problem go wrong in other ways

An example may be the guideline issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discouraging the use of opioids in treating chronic pain, excluding cancer and end of life(Unintended consequences. http://tinyurl.com/?8p8g)

The guideline was not intended to be mandatory;

Continue reading

Held Hostage by Health Care

When Patients and Their Families Feel Like Hostages to Health Care – Mayo Clinic – Sept 2017

Patients are often reluctant to assert their interests in the presence of clinicians, whom they see as experts. [… or law enforcement in the ‘opioid crisis’ -zyp]

The higher the stakes of a health decision, the more entrenched the socially sanctioned roles of patient and clinician can become.

As a result, many patients are susceptible to “hostage bargaining syndrome” (HBS), whereby they behave as if negotiating for their health from a position of fear and confusion Continue reading

Rx down & OD deaths up – CDC in Denial

Opioid Crisis Continues to Pressure Physicians, But Patients Bear the Pain – Pain Medicine News – NOVEMBER 7, 2017 – by David C. Holzman

The efforts to crack down on opioids are coming to a head. As a result, patients are hurting—literally.

Payors and legislators are limiting physicians’ ability to prescribe, said Joseph Ranieri, DO, an addiction medicine and pain specialist who is medical director of Seabrook House, in Newell, N.J.

Moreover, even where rules are absent, the specter of monitoring has many physicians caught between protecting their practices and protecting their patient.   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

The Opioid Crackdown: Have We Gone Too Far? (Part II)

The Opioid Crackdown: Have We Gone Too Far? Part II – November 15, 2017 – by Anne Fletcher

Common misconceptions and misinformation have fueled near hysteria about the so-called opioid “epidemic,” fed what’s been called a “civil war” within the medical profession, and downplayed concerns about other major drug problems.

Furthermore, misinterpretation of the widely followed 2016 “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain – with its 12 “recommendations” for “determining when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain” – has left some chronic pain patients feeling defenseless against their agony.   Continue reading

Government disrupting doctor-patient relationship

COMMENTARY: Opioid ‘crisis’ leading government to disrupt doctor-patient relationship – Las Vegas Review-Journal – By Josh Bloom Special to the Review-Journal – November 11, 2017

Of the many horrors that are being inflicted upon this country by opioid drugs, perhaps none is worse than one that is not making headlines.

Federal and state agencies have inserted themselves into the doctor-patient relationship like never before.

Our government is taking prescription pads out of the hands of physicians and dictating what drugs, doses and the number of pain medications that they may prescribe for their patients. This is a chilling precedent.   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

The Opioid Crackdown: Have We Gone Too Far? (Part III)

The Opioid Crackdown: Have We Gone Too Far? Part III – November 21, 2017 – by Anne Fletcher 

Part three of this series examines what happens when government guidelines and recommendations such those in as the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain are used to make rules and regulations about medications that leave little or no room for physicians’ discretion and individual patient needs.

How does this impact people who depend on these medications to avoid suffering and have a decent quality of life?   Continue reading

The Opioid Crackdown: Have We Gone Too Far? (Part I)

The Opioid Crackdown: Have We Gone Too Far? (Part I) – October 26, 2017 – by Anne Fletcher

As someone who’s lived with chronic back pain for decades, I’m not unbiased about this matter.

After trying yoga, (and still using) physical therapy, chiropractic, a back brace, mindfulness, my pain has gotten worse. (See my article, “Alternatives to Opioids For Chronic Pain.”)

Over the past five years, I’ve developed severe scoliosis, worsening degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis, plus various . Multiple procedures at a pain management clinic – from steroid injections to numerous radiofrequency neuroablation procedures – have offered limited and temporary relief.   Continue reading