TOP STORIESeNEWSLETTER
  • After an Injury, Chronic Pain Turned an Accident Victim into a Pain Coach
    Thankfully, most of us don’t have to deal with daily chronic pain. Neither did Becky Curtis, until she was in a car accident that left her an incomplete quadriplegic. The medication that eventually dulled her nerve pain also made her dysfunctional. After attending a functional restoration program, Becky learned how the brain processes pain, and also learned that she wanted to help others in chronic pain. MRI studies have shown that “what we focus on, we empower and enlarge.” Focusing on pain unfortunately just allows the brain to focus on pain even more. Pain coaching can change that by helping patients help themselves, as Ms. Curtis has taught in client centered programs, and at PAINWeek, the national conference on pain for frontline practitioners. To read the article, click here.
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  • Institute of Research Study Aims to Change Doctors’ Approach to Pain
    Walter Reed Army Institute of Research study results show that soldiers have chronic pain at rates twice that of the general population, and that they are 3 times more likely to use narcotic painkillers than civilians. Doctors frequently resort to established methods of treatment—opioids. Colonel Trip Buckenmaier, Program Director of the Defense & Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management, is determined to update these methods by which chronic pain is managed. Acupuncture and ketamine are two of the treatments being used as alternatives to narcotics. Colonel Buckenmaier also calls for implementation of new pain rating scales and charts that help better describe pain in order to medicate, but not overmedicate, soldiers in chronic pain. The Colonel also hopes to adopt more of the over 100 recommendations on pain control outlined in a 2010 task force report. To read the article, click here.
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  • Preliminary Research Suggests Unintended Benefit From Medical Cannabis
    Results of a new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center indicate that states that have legalized medical marijuana to manage chronic pain and other conditions are experiencing a 25% lower death rate from prescription drug overdose than in states where medical marijuana remains illegal. California, Oregon, and Washington legalized medical marijuana prior to 1999, with 10 more states following between then and 2010, the time period of the study. As of June 2014, another 10 states and Washington, D.C. have adopted similar laws. The authors write that, while more research is needed, their findings suggest that wider availability of medical marijuana for people in pain might help to reduce the growing number of overdose deaths attributed to prescription pain medications. A report on the research appears in the August 25 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. Read a news story about the findings here.
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  • To address symptoms following breast cancer surgery, patients need to be treated on an individual basis
    For those affected, breast cancer is a dramatic diagnosis. Patients often have to endure chemotherapy and surgery, which, depending on the individual scenario, may mean breast conserving surgery or... Pain / Anesthetics News From Medical News Today
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Daniel Carr, MD, FABPM
Director
Pain Research, Education, and Policy Program
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Tufts Medical Center
Boston, MA

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