April 6, 2011 |
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.
November 4, 2002 |
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.
March 22, 1999 |
When Patricia Whiteside began suffering crippling migraine pain in her 20s, she embarked on what would be a tortured journey to find relief at the offices of orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors and local pain clinics. At age 62, she is still searching. Pain patients like Whiteside often spend years shuffling among doctors and other health care providers, trying an assortment of treatments in a frustrating search for an end to their misery.
March 30, 1995 |
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'?"
September 28, 2010
You've been dumped by a romantic interest you really liked. You've been passed over for a job by a boss you thought admired you. A group of friends is going out together, leaving you out of their plans. This kind of social rejection prompts your brain to send warning signals to your body that there's been a sudden tear in your personal social fabric, says a new study. Some of those signals you will undeniably feel -- the pain in your gut, the ache in your heart, the lump in your throat.
April 6, 2011 |
Patients on higher doses of opioid painkillers are more likely to accidentally overdose than those prescribed lower doses, a new study finds. Those who were prescribed more than 100 milligrams of painkillers a day overdosed more than people limited to 1 to 20 milligrams, researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Ann Arbor, Mich., found. The trend stayed true whether the patient had acute pain, chronic pain, a substance abuse problem or cancer. White, middle-age men were statistically more likely to overdose.
May 7, 1985 |
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.
July 7, 2011 |
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)
January 14, 2002
PAIN FREE FOR WOMEN: The Revolutionary Program for Ending Chronic Pain By Pete Egoscue with Roger Gittines Bantam Books 446 pages, $24.95 Perhaps I was in the right frame of mind when I picked up this book--I had just joined a gym and, after a flare-up of tendinitis, was paying close attention to my posture, alignment and use of my joints and muscles. So I was ready to listen to Pete Egoscue's message.
April 4, 1996 |
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.