April 4, 2011
For many who suffer depression, chronic pain is a frequent fellow traveler. As many as half of those with chronic pain or with neuropathic pain disorders, such as fibromyalgia, have depression as well. That the two are so often bound together suggests a complex relationship, and the brain's shared circuitry for social and physical pain may lie at its heart. Depression and chronic pain are distinct but similar disorders. But both may arise from some faulty wiring in their shared neural circuitry, researchers say. In both disorders, pain continues long after some initial insult has healed, disappeared or moved on, and the experience of social rejection or physical pain persists, feeds on itself and becomes chronic.
June 29, 2011 |
Pain is more than just a complaint -- it’s a public health issue. And the time has come to do something about it. So concludes a new report from the Institute of Medicine, written at the request of the Department of Health and Human Services. The report , mandated by the healthcare overhaul law, estimates that chronic pain costs between $560 billion and $635 billion each year in medical expenses and lost productivity. But, it adds, pain is also personal, affecting each person individually.
September 13, 2012 |
Acupuncture eases some kinds of chronic pain - and it's not just a placebo effect at work, researchers who looked at data from nearly 18,000 patients found. An estimated 3 million American adults get acupuncture treatments annually; still, there “remains considerable controversy as to its value,” the researchers wrote in a study published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine. But they found that for back and neck pain, chronic headache, osteoarthritis and shoulder pain, acupuncture works better than no treatment and better than “sham” acupuncture - done, for example, with needles inserted superficially or with needles that retract into the handles instead of going into the skin.
July 5, 2010 |
For more than a decade, Cheryl Clark has lived with the chronic pain that accompanies fibromyalgia. After years of suffering with severe flu-like aches and pains, she finally found some relief — but it didn't come from a pill or a shot. It came from exercise. Several times a week, Clark heads to the warm-water pool and the gym at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in Pomona. Her pain, she says, has gone from a six or seven on a 10-point scale scale down to a one or two. "It would kill me to walk from the car to the doctor's office.
June 17, 2011 |
If you've had it, you would know. Chronic itchiness -- often the result of skin conditions such as psoriasis , eczema or allergies -- disrupts sleep, dims pleasure and limits activities. Just as much as chronic pain does. Now it's official: A study published online this week by the Archives of Dermatology has found that those who suffer from unrelenting itch, generally for six months to a year, have been brought every bit as low by their condition as have chronic-pain sufferers.
July 3, 2012 |
Pain is a hard thing to measure, and also quite mysterious: Two people may experience very similar injuries and similar levels of initial pain, but where one may recover the other may go on to experience a crippling chronic condition. Why does pain persist for some but not others? Scientists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine took an interesting look at this. Their work, just published in the journal Nature Neuroscience , tracked brain activity in 40 people with new back injuries and found a pattern of activity that could predict -- with 85% accuracy -- which patients were destined to develop chronic pain and which weren't.