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Chronic Pain

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.
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NATIONAL
November 4, 2002 | Robert Lee Hotz, Times Staff Writer
Scientists have proved what so many have long suspected: The very presence of your solicitous spouse can be a pain. By eavesdropping on electrical activity in the most private precincts of the mind, researchers investigating the effects of chronic pain discovered that a husband or wife can make the ache feel three times worse simply by being in the room. All they had to do to make their spouses feel better, the neural probes revealed, was leave.
NEWS
March 30, 1995 | LEONARD REED, Leonard Reed is a Times staff writer
The woman has back pain. Not the transient twinge, not the usual Monday-after-a-Sunday-of-gardening back pain. The pain just lives in her and increases through the day, so that by the end of the day she is unable to cook dinner for her family. It's been this way, every day, for more than a year. Her doctor prescribed medication. It didn't work. After a year of trying to break through the pain with drugs, the doctor looked at her and said, "Well, I guess that's it." "What's 'it'?"
NATIONAL
April 14, 2005 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
In a federal courtroom in suburban Washington today, a Stanford University-educated pain doctor assailed by prosecutors as a common drug pusher is expected to receive at least 20 years in prison for his December conviction on drug trafficking. The prosecution of Dr. William E. Hurwitz, 59, was surrounded by controversy and the prospective long sentence is reverberating among doctors who treat 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.
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)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Lady Gaga needs surgery after suffering from a concert injury, which has led to the cancellation of her "Born This Way Ball" tour. The singer, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, was experiencing chronic pain that caused the cancellation of four tour shows earlier this week. "After additional tests this morning to review the severity of the issue, it has been determined that Lady Gaga has a labral tear of the right hip,"  a Live Nation post on LittleMonsters .com announced Wednesday.
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.
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