Tag Archives: research

Take our Survey about Chronic Pain 2019

Take our Survey about Chronic Pain –  U.S. Pain Foundation – Sept 2019

The U.S. Pain Foundation has created a pretty good survey that you can fill out to describe how chronic pain affects your whole life.

U.S. Pain Foundation has partnered with Health Union — which offers health-focused online communities and news content — to conduct a survey, “Chronic Pain In America 2019.”

The goal? To get a better understanding of 

  • how people with chronic health conditions experience pain
  • how they navigate the health care system, and 
  • what their experiences are managing and treating chronic pain.  

Continue reading

Little evidence of opioid-induced hyperalgesia

Evidence of opioid-induced hyperalgesia in clinical populations after chronic opioid exposure: a systematic review and meta-analysis – Br J Anaesth. – 2019 Jun

Opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) is well documented in preclinical studies…

It’s such a trendy topic that I’m sure many researchers are looking for evidence that chronic pain patients only need high doses because they are suffering from “opioid-induced hyperalgesia”, which has still NOT been proven in humans.

…but findings of clinical studies are less consistent.

This isn’t surprising to most pain patients, who know the difference between their increasing pain and hyperalgesia.  Continue reading

Chronic opioid use and five-year survival

Trends in chronic opioid use and association with five-year survival in South Korea: a population-based cohort study. – Sep 2019

This research study came to some very interesting and highly unusual conclusions.

The Korean National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) was developed to provide population data for medical research.

The aim of this study was to estimate trends in prescription opioid use in South Korea, and to determine the association between chronic opioid use and 5-yr mortality in cancer and non-cancer patients.   Continue reading

Women More Adept Than Men At Discerning Pain

Women May Be More Adept Than Men At Discerning Pain : Shots – Health News : NPR – August 26, 2019 – Patti Neighmond  – Twitter

I like this article because it has links to reputable sources, like PubMed abstracts from the NIH. Unfortunately, it starts out with the usual trope:

The pathway to opioid abuse for women often starts with a prescription from the doctor’s office. [wrong, wrong, wrong…]

This is an outdated and completely incorrect myth of anti-opioid propaganda. The CDC data clearly shows that pain patients taking prescribed (for them) opioids account for only a minuscule number of the opioid overdoses, as I have posted previously:  Continue reading

Different Pain, Different Neural Circuits

Responses to External Threats and Sustained Pain Travel Via Different Neural Circuits – Practical Pain Management – By Kerri Wachter with Qiufu Ma, PhD – Jan 2019

New study outcomes in mice suggest that common pain measurement tools may be inadequate.

Different neural pathways appear to underlie

  • reflexive responses to external threats and
  • coping responses to sustained pain

I’m surprised this hasn’t been obvious to researchers because it’s certainly clear to pain patients. The experience of acute pain, like stubbing your toe, is wildly different than that of long-term pain, like failed back surgery, so it seems obvious to me that different aspects of our nervous system are involved.  Continue reading

Blunting pain’s emotional component

Blunting pain’s emotional component | Newswise: News for Journalists – Mar 2019

Chronic pain involves more than just hurting. People suffering from pain often experience sadness, depression, and lethargy.

These days, I’m almost surprised they’re not claiming that people are causing their own pain when they experience “sadness, depression, and lethargy”.

That’s one reason opioids can be so addictive — they not only dampen the pain but also make people feel euphoric. [not!]

Wrong. Those of us using opioids for serious pain do not experience this euphoria; see Opioids + Pain != Euphoria for an explanation why this doesn’t happen.    Continue reading

Even Moderate Pain Associated With Suicide Risk

Moderate, Severe Chronic Pain May Be Associated With Suicide Risk in Veterans – Clinical Pain AdvisorBrandon May – Mar 2019

Pain intensity may represent a reliable indicator of suicide risk in veterans, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain.

The data of veterans who used Veterans Health Administration pain specialty services (index visit) between 2012 and 2014 were analyzed (n=221,817);

Medical records and suicide surveillance sources were used to identify suicide attempts in the year following the initiation of pain services.    Continue reading

Novel Opioid Receptor Agonist Found Effective[?]

Novel Opioid Receptor Agonist Found Effective for Chronic Low Back Pain – Clinical Pain Advisorby Amit Akirov, MD – Aug 2019

The main appeal of this very mild opioid pain reliever is that it enters the nervous system very slowly compared to current opioids, which supposedly makes it less addictive.

NKTR-181 was found to be a safe, effective, and well tolerated treatment over the long term in patients with moderate to severe chronic low back pain (CLBP), according to results from a phase 3 trial published in Pain Medicine.

NKTR-181, a novel μ-opioid receptor agonist, has several advantages compared with conventional opioid drugs, including

  • a slower entry into the central nervous system,
  • delayed receptor binding, and [why would a delay of pain relief be desireable?]
  • long duration of effect.

Continue reading

The complexity of opioid receptor function

Untangling the complexity of opioid receptor function – by Rita J. Valentino & Nora D. Volkow – Sept 2018for science nerds

This is a technical article explaining the differences between different opioid receptors, which turn out to have further layers of complexity. Finding the molecular paths or signals that create and/or transmit pain signals, researchers hope to find new ways to interrupt that process to alleviate pain.

Evidence that opioid receptors form and can function as heteromers suggests another layer of complexity and another route for manipulating opioid receptor function

Mu opioid receptor agonists are among the most powerful analgesic medications but also among the most addictive.   Continue reading

Mortality After Discontinuation of Opioid Therapy for Pain

Mortality After Discontinuation of Primary Care-Based Chronic Opioid Therapy for Pain: a Retrospective Cohort Study. – PubMed – NCBI – J Gen Intern Med. – Aug 2019


Despite known risks of using chronic opioid therapy (COT) for pain, the risks of discontinuation of COT are largely uncharacterized.

These “risks of discontinuation of COT” are not “largely uncharacterized” but rather completely unstudied.

Pain patients being tapered are being used as guinea pigs because those who are restricting opioids have no idea what the results might be.  Continue reading