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Chronic Pain

NEWS
May 7, 1985 | DENNIS McLELLAN, Times Staff Writer
It may seem like an unlikely scenario: You're suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), the painful jaw disorder, and while you're stretched out in the dental chair your dentist starts asking if you've had any changes in appetite or energy level. Have you been feeling tense and irritable? Do you feel a sense of hopelessness? You answer in the affirmative and your dentist, recognizing signs of depression, refers you to a psychologist.
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NEWS
July 7, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
A sunburn’s hot and aching soreness is difficult to ease, even after slathering on aloe vera, and especially when tossing and turning at night. Now researchers say they’ve found a protein responsible for this inflammatory pain. Targeting this molecule could eventually lead to new ways to relieve not only soreness from too much time at the beach but also other types of chronic pain. To reach their conclusion, researchers burned tiny patches of skin on human volunteers with UVB light (the type of radiation classically associated with skin cancer)
NEWS
November 15, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Seeing the movements of a healthy hand mirroring one's own movements plays a welcome trick on the brains of arthritis sufferers, a new study shows: It reduces the perception of pain. The observation, reported this week at the Society for Neuroscience's annual conference , could offer a safe, inexpensive means of dampening chronic pain by enlisting the brain's power of suggestion. The small  arthritis study, which tested just eight subjects, comes from the lab of UC San Diego neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran -- who first used mirror-based trickery to treat phantom-limb pain in patients who have had an amputation.
HEALTH
April 6, 2011 | Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News
Chronic pain -- the kind that lasts for months or recurs regularly – afflicts more than a quarter of adult Americans. Treating pain can be extremely challenging, however, in part because it can't be measured with instruments. It's in the eye -- or neck or joint -- of the beholder. Doctors often prescribe powerful painkillers called opioids -- natural or synthetic versions of opium. Sometimes the prescription is for short-term, acute pain: If you've ever had a root canal or surgery or thrown out your back, you may have received a prescription for Percocet or Vicodin, both of which are opioids that also contain acetaminophen.
NEWS
November 12, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots Blog
No sensation better captures the powerful interplay between mind and body like the humble itch. A new study turns up copious evidence to suggest that merely seeing someone else scratching can induce itchiness. And it demonstrates that a person's propensity to "catch" someone else's itch reveals a lot about his or her personality. Even more than yawning and laughter, the urge to scratch can be socially contagious, the new research reveals: Among subjects who saw videos of other people scratching themselves, 64% did the same (seeing another yawn reportedly induces contagious yawning in 40% to 60% of cases, and studies have found laughing induces a contagious reaction 47% of the time)
NEWS
April 4, 1996 | Associated Press
The popular new prescription pain reliever Ultram can cause addiction or seizures in certain patients and must be used with caution, the Food and Drug Administration warned doctors Wednesday. Known chemically as tramadol, the drug was approved just a year ago but already has been used by 5 million patients suffering chronic pain, anything from back problems to broken bones.
HEALTH
August 28, 2006 | Susan Brink, Times Staff Writer
MINT is great for sweet kisses or for covering up that lunchtime martini, but, as herbalists have long known, the menthol within its oils also soothes and cools the skin. Now scientists have discovered the basis for that property, known scientifically as cool-induced analgesia, and are working on new therapies for alleviating pain.
BUSINESS
August 16, 1998
I am a 78-year-old World War II veteran, now disabled, who wears two magnets daily ["Attracting Controversy," Personal Finance, June 14]. Without these magnets, I could not walk every morning at daybreak for one hour. Without these magnets, I could not play golf one, two and sometimes three times a week. Yes, magnets work on some people, and on some they do not. HOWARD D. WRIGHT Canoga Park I thought the story on magnetic therapy was very impressive. I had back surgery years ago and have had chronic pain since.
HEALTH
December 29, 1997 | ROCHELLE O'GORMAN FLYNN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Adderly deserves credit for improving her ability to read aloud. She still over-enunciates, but not to the annoying degree she did while reading "The Fat Blocker Diet" (Harper Audio, 1997), which she also co-wrote. Her pacing has improved and she sounds far more natural. That said, buy the book. This audio outlines a seemingly sound combination of diet, exercise and supplements aimed at eliminating or greatly reducing osteoarthritis.
NEWS
May 23, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
People with fibromyalgia suffer from chronic pain throughout the body, especially in their joints, muscles and tendons. But research shows that exercise can make patients feel better and improve their quality of life. Dr. Ginevra Liptan, an authority on the disorder at the Oregon Health Sciences Center, has conducted research on how a type of massage therapy of the fascia tissue -- the connective tissue surrounding muscles -- can help relieve discomfort. To find out more about the therapy and how exercise and fibromyalgia are linked, join a live Web chat Monday at 11 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. EDT)
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