Bodily Damage from Uncontrolled Chronic Pain Part 2

Here is a list of newer posts, from Sep 2017 to Dec 2019, covering the damage caused by uncontrolled chronic pain, both physical and mental.

The previous list covered from 2013 – Aug 2017

While the news is filled with stories of damages from opioid abuse, the media never mentions the damages of pain itself. Such information is harder to find when it’s buried under a deep pile of drug-war PROPaganda.

This censoring leaves the public completely ignorant of all the biological damages pain patients suffer if they are not provided effective pain relief quickly.

These are arguments for allowing pain patients access to opioids, showing how important it is to eradicate pain by any means possible as soon as possible.

Below, is a list of posts with short excerpts that explain the damages of chronic pain.

(Use tag ‘PAIN-DAMAGE for the latest).

Chronic Pain Patients at Higher Risk for Coronavirus Feb 2020

Chronic Pain Patients Are at Higher Risk for CoronavirusBy Lynn Webster, M.D. – Feb 2020

In this article Dr. Webster makes an important point: the ravages of chronic pain affect our susceptibility to other illnesses because our whole bodies, including our immune system, are affected by the constant stress brought about by this constant biological state of high alert.

It might be worthwhile showing this article (link above) to your doctor, including the scientific article explaining the research (link below).

The people with increased risk for experiencing severe symptoms, and possibly dying of COVID-19, are seniors and those with chronic illness.  

Of course, people in chronic pain are part of this risk group.

Anatomical changes correlated with chronic pain Feb 2020

Anatomical changes correlated with chronic pain in forensic medicine – Free full-text /PMC6197126/ –  Jun 2017

This article from the NIH has a good summary of physical changes that come about due to chronic pain, not just psychological “problems”, but numerous physical harms resulting from unrelieved pain.

Certain causes of death may also have been related to chronic pain. The heart, lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys were significantly heavier in persons with chronic pain; emphysema and pleural and abdominal adhesions were more common in persons with chronic pain. 

Sudden, Unexpected Death in Chronic Pain Patients Feb 2020

Sudden, Unexpected Death in Chronic Pain Patients – By Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH – Sep 2012

Sudden, unexpected death may occur in a severe, chronic pain patient, and the terminal event may be unrelated to medical therapeutics. Fortunately, sudden death is not as commonly observed in pain patients as in past years most likely due to better access to at least some treatment. Sudden death still occurs, however, and practitioners need to know how to spot an “at-risk” patient.

Critical link between pain intensity and suicide Nov 2019

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

Here’s the earth-shattering 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.

Chronic Pain Accelerates Dementia – Oct 2019

Chronic Pain Accelerates Dementia — Pain News Network – By Dr. Lynn Webster, PNN Columnist – Sep 2019

In 2017, JAMA Internal Medicine published a study that found older people with chronic pain experience faster declines in memory and are more likely to develop dementia.

While prior research had shown a link between chronic pain and brain damage, this was one of the first studies to specifically suggest that chronic pain can cause dementia.

Suicidal Thoughts Linked to Musculoskeletal Pain  – July 2019          

Suicidal Thoughts Linked to Pain in Those with Rheumatic or Musculoskeletal Disease – By Janice Wood – July 2019

A new survey highlights the significant impact of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) on mental health.

The survey of more than 900 RMD patients revealed that pain had caused one in 10 to have suicidal thoughts in the previous four weeks. Pain also caused 58 percent to feel that everything was unmanageable for them.

This is a feeling I know only too well: the sinking sensation every time I think about how I’m going to get through this life, feeling completely overwhelmed by even trivial tasks, running around in mental circles looking for a way out of an unbearable situation…

Chronic pain is associated with a brain aging biomarker – May 2019 

Chronic pain is associated with a brain aging biomarker in community-dwelling older adults: PAIN – PAIN: May 2019 – Research Paper

[This “finding” doesn’t surprise me one bit; my mental faculties have long been deteriorating faster than others in my cohort.]

Chronic pain is associated with brain atrophy with limited evidence on its impact in the older adult’s brain.

We aimed to determine the associations between chronic pain and a brain aging biomarker in persons aged 60 to 83 years old

Individuals with chronic pain (n = 33) had “older” brains for their age compared with those without.

Not All Pain Is the Same: Extent of High-Impact Chronic Pain – May 2019  

Not All Pain Is the Same: Characterizing the Extent of High-Impact Chronic Pain painresearchforum.orgEpidemiological findings highlight the need for patient-centered care –  by Stephani Sutherland – Apr 2019

Chronic pain exacts a huge toll on patients, healthcare systems, and the economy. But the way that chronic pain is typically defined—by how long it lasts—provides little information about

  1. the people suffering from chronic pain,
  2. the degree to which they are affected, and
  3. how to best treat them.

These days, chronic pain seems defined mostly by how many milligrams of an opioid need to be taken to make it bearable. The patient’s specific condition is considered irrelevant.

This is a sad side effect of medical pain: because it is only perceptible to the patient suffering from it, the easily accessible numerical measure of medication is used instead (scientific laziness, bordering on fraud).  

Treating chronic pain can restore normal brain function – Mar 2019   

Effective Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain in Humans Reverses Abnormal Brain Anatomy and Function | Journal of Neuroscience – Free full-text article – May 2011

Though also not new, this study is a follow up on an earlier post: Brain abnormalities are Consequence Not Cause of pain (2009). The article below contains dozens of links to further information.

Abstract: Chronic pain is associated with reduced brain gray matter and impaired cognitive ability.

In this longitudinal study, we assessed whether neuroanatomical and functional abnormalities were reversible and dependent on treatment outcomes.

When Chronic Pain Takes Away Your Life – Feb 2019

When Chronic Pain Takes Away Your Life – By Peter Abaci, MD –  Dec 2018

I find it unusual for a doctor to think about this, let alone write about it.

Pain changes us.

The minute we start to hurt, we make adaptions to how we move, what we do, and where we go.

This makes me think Dr. Abacci really does understand what it’s like to live with chronic pain. 

Tennis Great Felled by “Only” Chronic Pain – Feb 2019

Andy Murray Announces Retirement This Year – By Ben Rothenberg – Jan. 10, 2019

Still struggling with a hip injury that has limited him since June 2016, Andy Murray announced Friday that he would retire after this year’s Wimbledon — if not sooner.

‘I cannot keep doing this,’” Murray said in an emotional news conference in Melbourne. “I needed to have an end point because I was sort of playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop. I felt like making that decision.

The never-ending aspect of pain is exactly what causes so much distress. We can “put up with” serious pain as long as there’s an end in sight, like when we’re healing from surgery. But when every day brings the same pain without possible relief, normal activities become very difficult.  

Complications of Uncontrolled, Persistent Pain – Jan 2019

Complications of Uncontrolled, Persistent Pain – By Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH – Jan 2018

To the unfortunate patient who is afflicted and the practitioner who treats it, incurable, persistent pain is truly its own disease regardless of its underlying cause.

Persistent pain, which is also often characterized as chronic or intractable, has all the ramifications of a disease in that it may have pre-clinical and overt phases.

I like that he calls it “persistent pain” instead of “chronic pain”, a term which has become synonymous in the public’s eye as a whining, complaining, catastrophizing, gonna-be addict.

Emotional Impact of Pain  – Nov 2018

Emotional Impact of Pain | Pain Management & Understanding |

Although it may feel like it’s coming from your joints, pain – particularly the chronic pain common to arthritis – is also an expression of your state of mind.

If you’re depressed or anxious, you’ll very likely hurt more than when your mood is lighter or more balanced.

The crucial distinction is that depression or anxiety will only worsen *pre-existing* pain, not create new pain.

The fact that pain itself is depressing and worrying only makes the problem worse.

Suicidality in chronic pain – Jul 2018   

Suicidality in chronic pain: a review of the prevalence, risk factors and psychological links. – PubMed – May 2006

This study was done over 10 years ago, when the “crackdown” on opioids was just beginning. Since then, the situation for pain patients has become infinitely worse and many no longer have access to effective pain

Increasing numbers of pain patients are committing suicide because there is no other relief from their crushing pain.