Spinal Fractures Can Be Terribly Painful. A Common Treatment Isn ’t Helping. - The New York Times
Scientists warned osteoporosis patients on Thursday to avoid two common procedures used to shore up painful fractures in crumbling spines.The treatments, which involve injecting bone cement into broken vertebrae, relieve pain no better than a placebo does, according to an expert task force convened by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.The task force noted that the pain goes away or diminishes within six weeks without the procedure. Patients should take painkillers instead, the experts said, and maybe try back braces and physical therapy.More ...https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/24/health/spinal-fracture-trea...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 24, 2019 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Repeated pain makes men more sensitive — but not women | CBC Radio
Dr. Loren Martin and his colleagues were actually investigating another question when they discovered this surprising result. They were measuring how multiple sources of pain changed pain perception.In experiments, in mice they used a heat probe that created an mild level of heat on the mouse's feet. Then they gave the mice a dose of vinegar to upset their stomachs. The mice, unsurprisingly, didn't like it.The suprise came when they they repeated the experiment. The male mice showed more stress when brought back to the location of the experiment, and had stronger responses to the heat stimuli - they were more sensi...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 20, 2019 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Managing Children ’s Pain After Surgery - The New York Times
Pain control in infants and children has come a long way over the past few decades. Experts know how to provide appropriate anesthesia when children need surgery and understand the ways that even very young children express distress when they're hurting afterward. There is a lot of evidence about reducing the pain and anxiety that can accompany immunizations and blood draws, and there is increasing expertise about helping children who struggle with chronic pain.But today's parents may be shocked to learn that was not always the case. As recently as the early 1980s, the pain of children and infants was thought to be...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 14, 2019 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Heroin Addiction Explained: How Opioids Hijack the Brain - The New York Times
THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC is devastating America. Overdoses have passed car crashes and gun violence to become the leading cause of death for Americans under 55. The epidemic has killed more people than H.I.V. at the peak of that disease, and its death toll exceeds those of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq combined. Funerals for young people have become common. Every 11 minutes, another life is lost.So why do so many people start using these drugs? Why don't they stop?Some people are more susceptible to addiction than others. But nobody is immune. For many, opioids like heroin entice by bestowing an immediate sense of...
Source: Psychology of Pain - December 20, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

This Chemical Is So Hot It Destroys Nerve Fibers —in a Good Way - WIRED
In Morocco there grows a cactus-like plant that's so hot, I have to insist that the next few sentences aren't hyperbole. On the Scoville Scale of hotness, its active ingredient, resiniferatoxin, clocks in at 16 billion units. That's 10,000 times hotter than the Carolina reaper, the world's hottest pepper, and 45,000 times hotter than the hottest of habaneros, and 4.5 million times hotter than a piddling little jalapeno. Euphorbia resinifera, aka the resin spurge, is not to be eaten. Just to be safe, you probably shouldn't even look at it.But while that toxicity will lay up any mammal dumb enough to chew...
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 15, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Pain treatment complicated by doctors' opioid fears - The Washington Post
I felt a shake and opened my eyes. The clock read 1:30 a.m."We need to go to the hospital," my mother whispered in my ear, clutching her stomach.She knew; it was the same pain she had experienced many times before.We were in California, many miles from home, many miles from my father (a doctor), who always knew what to do. At the time, I was early in my medical school training, although I knew all the intricate details of my mother's medical history and realized she needed to get medical attention.When we arrived at the local emergency room in an affluent neighborhood, my mother was placed in a wheelchair and...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 29, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Illusions as Painkillers: the Analgesic Value of Resizing Illusions in Knee Osteoarthritis - Scientific American
Research has shown that the experience of pain is highly subjective: people feel more or less pain, in identical physical situations, as a function of their mood and attention. This flexibility showcases the potential for cognitive manipulations to decrease the pain associated with a variety of pathologies. As an example, the virtual-reality game"Snow World" (in which game in which players shoot snowballs to defeat snowman Frosty and his penguins) reportedly works better than morphine at counteracting the pain of patients in burn units. Other studies have indicated that virtual reality manipulations of the patien...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 21, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Pain Narrative Videos | Pain Education and Advocacy | University of New England
UNE's Center for Excellence in Neurosciences and Interprofessional Education Collaborative have partnered to create this collection of pain narrative videos as part of a group of interprofessional training materials. These materials were crafted to aid future practitioners in providing the highest quality of care to patients experiencing chronic pain. They highlight the importance of working interprofessionally and approaching the patient as a whole person when in treatment. Included are outcomes from a project funded in part by the Maine Cancer Foundation to examine cancer pain from an interprofessional perspective an...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 19, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Too Good to Be True? A Nonaddictive Opioid without Lethal Side Effects Shows Promise - Scientific American
With nearly 50,000 drug overdose deaths from opioids last year and an estimated two million Americans addicted, the opioid crisis continues to rage throughout the U.S. This statistic must be contrasted with another: 25 million Americans live with daily chronic pain, for which few treatment options are available apart from opioid medications.Opioid drugs like morphine and Oxycontin are still held as the gold standard when it comes to relieving pain. But it has become brutally obvious that opioids have dangerous side effects, including physical dependence, addiction and the impaired breathing that too often leads to death fr...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 19, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Body in Mind - Research into the role of the brain and mind in chronic pain - University of South Australia
Here is our vision: To provide a credible and reliable channel through which clinical pain scientists can bring their scientific discoveries straight into the real world. We reckon that the communication bit of science is the bit that often drags the chain of knowledge development and transfer. We want to communicate our science better. We want to side-step, or perhaps leap-frog, the arduous journey that new discoveries make before they have the opportunity to influence the real world. We want people to share in our fascination with the fearful and wonderful complexity of the human; we want people to understand the scienti...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 17, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Most Doctors Are Ill-Equipped to Deal With the Opioid Epidemic. Few Medical Schools Teach Addiction. - The New York Times
To the medical students, the patient was a conundrum.According to his chart, he had residual pain from a leg injury sustained while working on a train track. Now he wanted an opioid stronger than the Percocet he'd been prescribed. So why did his urine test positive for two other drugs — cocaine and hydromorphone, a powerful opioid that doctors had not ordered?It was up to Clark Yin, 29, to figure out what was really going on with Chris McQ, 58 — as seven other third-year medical students and two instructors watched."How are you going to have a conversation around the patient's positive tox screen r...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 14, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

A New Arizona Law Limits A Doctor's Freedom To Prescribe Painkillers : Shots - Health News : NPR
It started with a rolled ankle during a routine training exercise.Shannon Hubbard never imagined it was the prologue to one of the most debilitating pain conditions known to exist, called­­­­­­­complex regional pain syndrome.It's a condition that causes the nervous system to go haywire, creating pain disproportionate to the actual injury. It can also affect how the body regulates temperature and blood flow.For Hubbard, it manifested several years ago following surgery on her foot. That's a common way for it to take hold."My leg feels like it's on fire pretty much all the time. I...
Source: Psychology of Pain - July 8, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The Neuroscience of Pain | The New Yorker
On a foggy February morning in Oxford, England, I arrived at the John Radcliffe Hospital, a shiplike nineteen-seventies complex moored on a hill east of the city center, for the express purpose of being hurt. I had an appointment with a scientist named Irene Tracey, a brisk woman in her early fifties who directs Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and has become known as the Queen of Pain."We might have a problem with you being a ginger," she warned when we met. Redheads typically perceive pain differently from those with other hair colors; many also flinch at the use of the G-wo...
Source: Psychology of Pain - June 25, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

HEAL Initiative | National Institutes of Health (NIH)
In April 2018, NIH launched the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. This Initiative will build on extensive, well-established NIH research, including basic science of the complex neurological pathways involved in pain and addiction, implementation science to develop and test treatment models, and research to integrate behavioral interventions with Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD). Successes from this research include the development of the nasal form of naloxo...
Source: Psychology of Pain - June 12, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

How health insurers are making America ’s opioid epidemic worse - Vox
Mandy has now been in recovery from her opioid addiction for more than two months — and she's ready to keep that going. But the 29-year-old in the Chicago area is now dealing with a big obstacle: her health insurer.Mandy, who asked I use only her first name, said she struggled with addiction for six years. It started with back pain, which a doctor tried to treat with Vicodin. " I had tried [opioids] in high school, " she said. " I had an older boyfriend, and I tried some of his wisdom teeth painkillers to get high off of. And I was like,'Whoa, this is awesome.'When I got a Vicodin prescription for...
Source: Psychology of Pain - June 5, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

BBC - Future - Pain bias: The health inequality rarely discussed
In 2009, my doctor told me that, like"a lot of women", I was paying too much attention to my body. Saying there wasn't an issue, he suggested I just relax and try to ignore the symptoms.The decision seemed to run counter to what my records showed. A few weeks earlier, I had ended up in the emergency room with chest pains and a heart rate hitting 220 beats per minute. The ER crew told me it was a panic attack, gave me Xanax and told me to try to sleep.I'd had panic attacks before. I knew this episode was not one. So I went to my doctor.He put me on a heart monitor overnight. Bingo: I had another episode, t...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 31, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

NIH Pain Consortium
The NIH Pain Consortium was established to enhance pain research and promote collaboration among researchers across the many NIH Institutes and Centers that have programs and activities addressing pain. To this end, the following goals have been identified for the Pain Consortium:• To develop a comprehensive and forward-thinking pain research agenda for the NIH - one that builds on what we have learned from our past efforts.• To identify key opportunities in pain research, particularly those that provide for multidisciplinary and trans-NIH participation.• To increase visibility for pain research - both withi...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 31, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Chronic pain treatment: Psychotherapy, not opioids, has been proven to work - Vox
When pain settled into Blair Golson's hands, it didn't let go.What started off as light throbbing in one wrist 10 years ago quickly engulfed the other. The discomfort then spread, producing a pain much"like slapping your hands against a concrete wall," he says. He was constantly stretching them, constantly shaking them, while looking for hot or cold surfaces to lay them on for relief.But worse was the deep sense of catastrophe that accompanied the pain. Working in tech-related startups, he depended on his hands to type."Every time the pain got bad, I would think some variation of,'Oh no, I'm ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 20, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

New Drug Offers Hope to Millions With Severe Migraines - The New York Times
The first medicine designed to prevent migraines was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, ushering in what many experts believe will be a new era in treatment for people who suffer the most severe form of these headaches.The drug, Aimovig, made by Amgen and Novartis, is a monthly injection with a device similar to an insulin pen. The list price will be $6,900 a year, and Amgen said the drug will be available to patients within a week.Aimovig blocks a protein fragment, CGRP, that instigates and perpetuates migraines. Three other companies — Lilly, Teva and Alder — have similar medicines in t...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 18, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Treatments Prescribed For Lower Back Pain Are Often Ineffective, Report Says : NPR
Chances are, you — or someone you know — has suffered from lower back pain.It can be debilitating. It's a leading cause of disability globally.And the number of people with the often-chronic condition is likely to increase.This warning comes via a series of articles published in the medical journal Lancet in March. They state that about 540 million people have lower back pain — and they predict that the number will jump as the world's population ages and as populations in lower- and middle-income countries move to urban centers and adopt more sedentary lives."We don't think about [back pa...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 10, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Lack Of Research On Medical Marijuana Leaves Patients In The Dark : Shots - Health News : NPR
By the time Ann Marie Owen, 61, turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She was also hallucinating.For four years, her doctor prescribed a wide range of opioids for transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help."Even though medical marijuana is legal, none of my doctors were willing to talk to me ab...
Source: Psychology of Pain - April 10, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Naloxone Stops Opioid Overdoses. How Do You Use It? - The New York Times
The United States surgeon general issued a rare national advisory on Thursday urging more Americans to carry naloxone, a drug used to revive people overdosing on opioids.The last time a surgeon general issued such an urgent warning to the country was in 2005, when Richard H. Carmona advised women not to drink alcohol when pregnant.More ...https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/06/us/naloxone-narcan-opioid-overdose.html (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - April 7, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer. - The New York Times
Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016, a staggering one in three of 43.6 million beneficiaries of the federal health insurance program had been prescribed the painkillers.Medicare, they decided, would now refuse to pay for long-term, high-dose prescriptions; a rule to that effect is expected to be approved on April 2. Some medical experts have praised the regulation as a check on addiction.But the proposal has also drawn a broad and clamorous blowback from many people who ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - March 28, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

America's War on Pain Pills Is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony - Reason.com
Craig, a middle-aged banking consultant who was on his school's lacrosse team in college and played professionally for half a dozen years after graduating, began developing back problems in his early 30s. " Degenerative disc disease runs in my family, and the constant pounding on AstroTurf probably did not help, " he says. One day, he recalls, " I was lifting a railroad tie out of the ground with a pick ax, straddled it, and felt the pop. That was my first herniation. "After struggling with herniated discs and neuropathy, Craig consulted with " about 10 different surgeons " and decided to have...
Source: Psychology of Pain - March 23, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

What's in a Name for Chronic Pain? | Pain Research Forum
For decades, pain researchers have set their sights on understanding pain mechanisms —the cellular and molecular machinery underlying chronic pain. In doing so, they became increasingly aware that the terms they used to describe the neurobiological workings of pain did not always match what they had learned.But now, official adoption by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) of an IASP terminology task force recommendation for a so-called"third mechanistic descriptor" of chronic pain could move the field forward in its efforts to more fully characterize the known pathophysiological mecha...
Source: Psychology of Pain - March 23, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Handing out naloxone doesn ’t fix opioid crisis | Dalla Lana School of Public Health
In the midst of a national opioid crisis, take-home naloxone programs have expanded rapidly. Ontario's Minister of Health and Long Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins recently announced that naloxone kits will be provided to fire and police departments across the province, but U of T researchers are questioning whether naloxone distribution might distance people from health-care services or worsen health inequities.More ...http://www.dlsph.utoronto.ca/2018/02/handing-out-naloxone-doesnt-fix-opioid-crisis/? (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - March 13, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

“Brave Men” and “Emotional Women”: A Theory-Guided Literature Review on Gender Bias in Health Care and Gendered Norms towards Patients with Chronic Pain - Pain Research and Management
Conclusions. Awareness about gendered norms is important, both in research and clinical practice, in order to counteract gender bias in health care and to support health-care professionals in providing more equitable care that is more capable to meet the need of all patients, men and women.https://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2018/6358624/ (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - February 26, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Migraine Relief May Be On The Way With New Therapies In Development : Shots - Health News : NPR
Humans have suffered from migraines for millennia. Yet, despite decades of research, there isn't a drug on the market today that prevents them by targeting the underlying cause. All of that could change in a few months when the FDA is expected to announce its decision about new therapies that have the potential to turn migraine treatment on its head.The new therapies are based on research begun in the 1980s showing that people in the throes of a migraine attack have high levels of a protein called calcitonin gene –related peptide (CGRP) in their blood.Step by step, researchers tracked and studied this neurochemic...
Source: Psychology of Pain - February 8, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

PAS-18-624: Mechanistic investigations of psychosocial stress effects on opioid use patterns (R01- Clinical Trial Optional)
Psychosocial stress, defined here as socioenvironmental demands that tax the adaptive capacity of the individual (e.g., low socioeconomic status, childhood adversity, bullying), has repeatedly been linked to substance use disorders (SUDs). Neighborhood poverty and social support are shown to influence substance use patterns. Among smokers, multiple psychosocial stressors are associated with relapse, and acute psychosocial stress has been demonstrated to enhance cigarette craving and smoking behavior. Similarly, psychosocial stress has been associated with greater risk of relapse in individuals with alcohol and cocaine use ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - February 5, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

A Doctor ’s Painful Struggle With an Opioid-Addicted Patient - Siddhartha Mukherjee - The New York Times
I once found myself entrapped by a patient as much as she felt trapped by me. It was the summer of 2001, and I was running a small internal-medicine clinic, supervised by a preceptor, on the fourth floor of a perpetually chilly Boston building. Most of the work involved routine primary care — the management of diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease. It was soft, gratifying labor; the night before a new patient's visit, I would usually sift through any notes that were sent ahead and jot my remarks in the margins. The patient's name was S., I learned. She had made four visits to the emergency room complaini...
Source: Psychology of Pain - February 5, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Natural painkiller nasal spray could replace addictive opioids, trial indicates | The Guardian
A nasal spray that delivers a natural painkiller to the brain could transform the lives of patients by replacing the dangerous and addictive prescription opioids that have wreaked havoc in the US and claimed the lives of thousands of people.Scientists at University College London found they could alleviate pain in animals with a nasal spray that delivered millions of soluble nanoparticles filled with a natural opioid directly into the brain. In lab tests, the animals showed no signs of becoming tolerant to the compound's pain-relieving effects, meaning the risk of overdose should be far lower.The researchers are now ra...
Source: Psychology of Pain - February 3, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

News Archive | Pain Research Forum
All of our news and discussion content, research resources and member services are provided free to researchers, clinicians and others interested in the problem of chronic pain.https://www.painresearchforum.org/news/archive (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 30, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

After Surgery in Germany, I Wanted Vicodin, Not Herbal Tea - The New York Times
MUNICH — I recently had a hysterectomy here in Munich, where we moved from California four years ago for my husband's job. Even though his job ended a year ago, we decided to stay while he tries to start a business. Thanks to the German health care system, our insurance remained in force. This, however, is not a story about the benefits of universal health care.Thanks to modern medicine, my hysterectomy was performed laparoscopically, without an overnight hospital stay. My only concern about this early release was pain management. The fibroids that necessitated the surgery were particularly large and painful, and...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 27, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Sourcing Painkillers from Scorpions ’ Stings | The Scientist Magazine
Studying scorpions comes with its share of danger, as biologist Bryan Fry of the University of Queensland knows all too well. On a 2009 trip to the Brazilian Amazon, Fry was stung while trying to collect the lethal Brazilian yellow scorpion (Tityus serrulatus), and for eight hours he says it felt as though his finger was in a candle flame. Meanwhile, his heart flipped between racing and stopping for up to five seconds at a time."At least the insane levels of pain helped keep my mind off my failing heart," Fry writes in an email to The Scientist.More ...https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/51210/...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 24, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Scientists Just Solved a Major Piece of the Opioid Puzzle | WIRED
When it comes to tackling the opioid crisis, public health workers start with the drugs: fentanyl, morphine, heroin. But biochemists have a different focus: Not the opioids, but opioid receptors —the proteins the drugs latch onto within the body.These receptors embed themselves in the walls of cells throughout the brain and peripheral nervous system. There, they serve as cellular gatekeepers, unlocking not just the painkilling properties for which opioids are prized, but the severe, addictive, and often lethal side effects that, in 2016, contributed to the deaths of more than 50,000 people in the US.But it doesn'...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 22, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The Quest for Safer Opioid Drugs | The Scientist Magazine
Opioid drugs are well-established double-edged swords. Extremely effective at analgesia, they cause an array of harmful side effects throughout the body, including itching, constipation, and respiratory depression —the slowed breathing that ultimately causes death in overdose cases. What's more, the body's interaction with opioids is dynamic: our receptors for these compounds become desensitized to the drugs' activity over time, requiring ever larger doses to suppress pain and eventually provoking severe dependence and protracted withdrawal.In the past few years, these side effects have plagued growing nu...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 22, 2018 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Her Chronic Pain Was a Medical Mystery. Was It an Unexplained Condition? - The Daily Beast
Leslie Levine's searing pains started the day after Thanksgiving in 2006. They began in her toes, which turned strangely dark. Then the agony crept upward."It felt like my legs were being dipped in boiling oil 24/7," she said.The emergency room and a series of doctors could do little but scratch their heads and offer her painkillers."I was living on oxycodone and very grateful for it," Levine said, then Harvard University's chief patent attorney. But it wasn't enough."By January, I was on disability, because I was in such pain and could hardly walk."Her internet search for answers ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - December 7, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

What We Lose When We Undertreat Pain | Kate Nicholson | TEDxBoulder - YouTube
Kate Nicholson was working as a civil rights attorney for the Justice Department when a surgical error left her unable to sit or stand, largely bedridden, and in severe pain for almost 20 years. Using opioids as an appropriate pain management tool, she continued to function as a high-level federal prosecutor. In this talk, Kate pivots from her inspiring and excruciating story to examine the under-treatment of pain, showing how our approach to opioid abuse by 2.5 million Americans is hurting 50 million people in severe or persistent pain.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4vHSLeTe-s (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 29, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Opioid crisis: Could the'pain-o-meter' be a solution? - USA Today
Every year, millions of Americans will go to their doctors complaining of pain, and their doctors will ask them to rate their degree of discomfort on a zero-to-10 scale, or using a range of smiley-face symbols.The doctor will have to take their word for it. And then, all too often, the doctor will prescribe a powerful and addictive opioid painkiller.It's a longstanding — if imprecise and subjective — way of measuring and treating pain. And it's at least partly responsible for starting an opioid addiction crisis that killed 64,000 people last year."One of the things we heard from many physicians is ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 23, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The Power of the Placebo - Slate
Every so often, a new study comes along that challenges conventional wisdom in medicine or science. When the conditions are right, these studies can generate a lot of attention in both the popular press and the medical community. In early November, one of these such studies, called the ORBITA study, was published in the Lancet by a group of cardiologists.The authors had set out to ask and answer a simple question: Does placement of a small wire mesh (called a stent) inside the artery that feeds blood to the heart (the coronary artery) relieve chest pain? One might ask what was novel about this question. The truth is that t...
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 21, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

New painkillers could thwart opioids ’ fatal flaw | Science | AAAS
When people die from overdoses of opioids, whether prescription pain medications or street drugs, it is the suppression of breathing that almost always kills them. The drugs act on neuronal receptors to dull pain, but those in the brain stem also control breathing. When activated, they can signal respiration to slow, and then stop. The results are well-known: an epidemic of deaths —about 64,000 people in the United States alone last year.Countering this lethal side effect without losing opioids' potent pain relief is a challenge that has enticed drug developers for years. Now, for the first time, the U.S. Food an...
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 17, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Drugstore pain pills as effective as opioids in ER patients - AP
Emergency rooms are where many patients are first introduced to powerful opioid painkillers, but what if doctors offered over-the-counter pills instead? A new study tested that approach on patients with broken bones and sprains and found pain relievers sold as Tylenol and Motrin worked as well as opioids at reducing severe pain.The results challenge common ER practice for treating short-term, severe pain and could prompt changes that would help prevent new patients from becoming addicted.The study has limitations: It only looked at short-term pain relief in the emergency room and researchers didn't evaluate how patient...
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 7, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Why opioids are such an American problem - BBC News
For every one million Americans, almost 50,000 doses of opioids are taken every day. That's four times the rate in the UK.There are often good reasons for taking opioids. Cancer patients use them for pain relief, as do patients recovering from surgery (codeine and morphine are opioids, for example).But take too many and you have a problem. And America certainly has a problem.More ...http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41701718 (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - October 29, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Federal Pain Research Strategy Overview | Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee
The NIH Office of Pain Policy is pleased to announce the release of the Federal Pain Research Strategy.The Federal Pain Research Strategy (FPRS) is an effort of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) and the National Institutes of Health, Office of Pain Policy to oversee development of a long-term strategic plan to advance the federal pain research agenda. The strategy is relevant to the missions all federal agencies and departments that support pain research. The research priorities of the FPRS are intended to guide strategic research planning and to support funding decisions that will fill cruc...
Source: Psychology of Pain - October 21, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Interagency Pain Research Portfolio -The Federal Government's Pain Research Database
The Interagency Pain Research Portfolio database provides information on pain research and training activities supported by the Federal Government. The participating agencies – AHRQ, CDC, DoD, FDA, NIH, and VA – are represented on the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC), a Federal advisory committee to enhance pain research efforts and promote collaboration across the government.https://paindatabase.nih.gov/ (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - October 21, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The Latest Jaw-Dropping Numbers From the Opioid Crisis – Mother Jones
About 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year —a staggering 21 percent increase from the 52,404 in 2015—according to the first government estimate of drug deaths in 2016. Overdoses now kill more Americans than HIV did at its peak in 1995, and far more than guns or cars do today.The numbers, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are provisional and will be updated monthly, according to the agency.Fueling the rise in deaths is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and fentanyl analogs, or slight tweaks on the fentanyl molecule. This has not alway...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 26, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Giving Migraine Treatments the Best Chance - The New York Times
If you've never had a migraine, I have two things to say to you:1) You're damn lucky.2) You can't begin to imagine how awful they are.I had migraines – three times a month, each lasting three days — starting from age 11 and finally ending at menopause.Although my migraines were not nearly as bad as those that afflict many other people, they took a toll on my work, family life and recreation. Atypically, they were not accompanied by nausea or neck pain, nor did I always have to retreat to a dark, soundless room and lie motionless until they abated. But they were not just"bad headaches" &mda...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 25, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The Cost of the Opioid Crisis | The New Yorker
In September, 2016, Donald Trump delivered a speech at the Economic Club of New York."Today, I'm going to outline a plan for American economic revival," he said."It is a bold, ambitious, forward-looking plan to massively increase jobs, wages, incomes, and opportunities for the people of our country." He went on to talk about lowering taxes and removing regulations, renegotiating trade deals and building a border wall. But he overlooked one of the most pressing issues facing the American economy today: the opioid crisis.Politicians tend to talk about the crisis in moral terms, focussing on the ways i...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 24, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

To treat back pain, look to the brain not the spine | Aeon Essays
For patient after patient seeking to cure chronic back pain, the experience is years of frustration. Whether they strive to treat their aching muscles, bones and ligaments through physical therapy, massage or rounds of surgery, relief is often elusive – if the pain has not been made even worse. Now a new working hypothesis explains why: persistent back pain with no obvious mechanical source does not always result from tissue damage. Instead, that pain is generated by the central nervous system (CNS) and lives within the brain itself.I caught my first whiff of this news about eight years ago, when I was starting the r...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 24, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The First Count of Fentanyl Deaths in 2016: Up 540% in Three Years - The New York Times
Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. It's a staggering rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year — and even higher than The New York Times's estimatein June, which was based on earlier preliminary data.Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl and its analogues — continue to push the death count higher. Drug deaths involving fentanyl more t...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 5, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs