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The mission of Pain Treatment Topics is to serve as a noncommercial resource for healthcare professionals & their patients, providing open access to clinical news, information, research, and education for a better understanding of evidence-based pain-management practices.
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Latest Pain-Topics News/Research UPDATES
Who Benefits from Integrative Pain Therapy?
A pair of recently-reported observational studies examined outcomes of integrative -- multidisciplinary and multimodal -- pain management programs, finding that they are not beneficial for all patients and are highly dependent on patient characteristics and treatment components. Learn more>
Studies Examine Nondrug Therapies for Neck Pain
Three recent studies report on the efficacy of nondrug approaches for managing neck pain, finding favorable outcomes of yoga and fear-avoidance training, while disparaging spinal manipulative therapy. Read discussion>
Other Recent Pain-Topics UPDATES of Interest...
> Can Antibiotics Cure Chronic Back Pain?
> Ear Acupressure for Chronic Back Pain
> Reflexology: Implausible Therapy for Pain?
> May 2013 – Pain Product Announcements & Warnings
> Manipulative Therapy for Back Pain Revisited
> AMA Opposes PROP Opioid-Label-Change Petition
See Table of Contents for ALL UPDATES>
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NEW in Pain Disorders
Chronic Headache: Stop Pain Before it Starts
By: Latimer KM. Journal of Family Practice, 2013.
Article focuses on the challenges of treating chronic headache, risks of medication overuse, and the importance of prophylactic therapy. Discusses diagnostic criteria and treatment for 5 chronic headache conditions. The evidence for prophylactic migraine therapy includes guidance on agent selection. See details>
Chronic Opioid Use in Fibromyalgia Syndrome
The authors review the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia and evidence for the efficacy of currently available pharmacotherapeutic agents. Biologic effects of opioids are reviewed in the context of pathophysiologic characteristics of fibromyalgia, which raise concerns about choosing opioids for symptomatic pain relief in patients with this condition. See details>
Recent Resources for Patients
U.S. FDA - Patient Network Website
From: U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Interactive website provides education on how medications and medical devices move from the drawing board to the marketplace. Also helps patients determine whether medical products are safe and effective, and encourages them to become involved by contributing their ideas and concerns about the development and regulation of these products. See details>
How to Travel with Opioids
Handout emphasizes the importance of pre-trip planning — including packing an ample supply of meds and having paperwork that could be needed. Health insurance cards, written prescriptions, and letters from healthcare providers provide added security if a med refill is required. See details>
NEW Pain Treatment GUIDELINES/REPORTS
Review of Psychosocial Difﬁculties in Patients with Migraine
Analysis includes 51 studies evaluating the impact of fatigue and vitality, emotional problems, pain and disability, employment challenges, and social functioning in persons with migraine. Evidence also shows reductions in migraine frequency ameliorate psychosocial difficulties, improving quality of life. See details>
AGS Statement: Opioids in Older Adults
Practitioners are reminded that AGS Pain Guidelines provide evidence that opioid therapy should be considered for moderate to severe chronic pain when APAP is ineffective (NSAIDs are not preferred). See details>
AAPM Statement: Opioids for the Treatment of Chronic Pain
Topics include: 1) regulatory policies to limit inappropriate prescribing without hindering medically appropriate opioid therapy, 2) appropriate opioid prescribing, 3) need for physicians to minimize risks, and 4) patient evaluation and risk-benefit assessments. See details>
New in Clinical Concepts
Chronic Pain is Like…
The Clinical Use of Analogy and Metaphor in the Treatment of Chronic Pain
The authors provide information from research studies to support the use of metaphors as an effective way to increase patients’ understandings of the biology of chronic pain. Multiple analogies are offered for explaining persistent pain, factors that influence an individual's interpretation of pain, and the rationale and benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to pain management. See details here>
ACPA Guide to Chronic Pain Meds & Treatment
Resource contains information about medications, devices, treatments and procedures, including safety information for storing and disposing of medications. Access here>
Latest Continuing Education (CME) Postings
Mind, Body, Spirit Solutions: An Integrative Approach to Fibromyalgia
This educational activity reviews pharmacologic therapies, as well as potential benefits in symptom reduction by adding complementary therapies like acupuncture, bodywork, and mind-body approaches. Emphasis is on designing therapeutic milieus according to the personal needs and characteristics of individual patients. See details>
Opioid Analgesics: Recognizing Risks of Abuse and Misuse
Activity reviews basic principles of chronic pain assessment and treatment, and considerations when prescribing or rotating opioids. Differences between addiction and physical dependence are explained, along with discussions of tools and approaches for effective opioid risk management. See details>
Opioid Rx & Safety
How to Avoid Opioid Misuse
Focuses on risk evaluation for individual patients, including adherence monitoring and other evidence-based strategies known to mitigate opioid misuse. See details>
What to Know About the U.S. FDA’s ER/LA-Opioid REMS
Website on U.S. FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, for Extended Release (ER) and Long-Acting (LA) opioid analgesics. See details>
NEW in Non-Opioid Therapies
Role of Glucosamine in the Treatment for Osteoarthritis
Review of preclinical and clinical research concludes that glucosamine sulfate can significantly reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis. However, differences in glucosamine product quality and dosing affect outcomes. See details>
NEW Books to Note
Stories of Hope
Living in Serenity with Chronic Pain and Chronic Illness
From: Chronic Pain Anonymous; 2012.
This book was written by members of the Chronic Pain Anonymous, or CPA, 12-Step fellowship to help explain how the tools and principles of the program can serve as catalysts for emotional, mental, and spiritual transformation. Readers discover how it is possible to live in happiness and contentment, one day at a time, regardless of the nature of their chronic pain or illness. See review>
Understanding and Treating the Complex Patient
From: IASP Press, Giamberardino and Jensen, eds.; 2012.
In the 23 chapters of this expansive and well-illustrated text, the editors have carefully assembled a collection of evidence-based articles examining the nature, modalities of diagnosis, and treatment of complex clinical situations involving multiple concurrent diseases that variously influence patients’ experience of pain. See review>
Pain & Disability Assessment Tools
Pain Catastrophizing Scale
Questionnaires for adults, spouses, and children assess catastrophic thinking as it relates to a patient’s experiences of helplessness and magnification of pain. Full instructions for administration are provided and the instrument is available in multiple languages. See details>
Spanish Versions of Opioid-Risk Assessment Tools Available
Now available in Spanish: SOAPP-R and COMM. See details>
SPECIAL: Managing Overdose Risks
OD Prevention & Naloxone Manual
Guidance is provided for developing and managing an Overdose Prevention and Education Program, with or without the use of a take-home naloxone component. These programs can be easily integrated into existing medical practices or clinical settings . See details>
Naloxone for At-Home Opioid OD Rescue
A new website and a short video tell everything you -- and your patients -- need to know about the use of naloxone at home to reverse opioid overdose . Access resources here>
Making Sense of Pain Research [Series]
Improving pain practice requires better research. However, healthcare professionals, and certainly patients, usually have had little specific training in evaluating research. This UPDATES series on “Making Sense of Pain Research” helps to close the education gap, teaching readers how to understand and interpret the often mysterious and complex language of research to assess its quality and validity. See listings>
Help for Safely Using Opioid Pain Relievers
Extensive, REMS-compliant, educational activity for patients and their caregivers focusing on the proper and safe use of opioid pain relievers. Provides an understanding of opioids and their risks. Vital instruction is provided on recognizing opioid problems and on being prepared for emergencies. Go to Opioids911.org>
IASP Global Year Against VISCERAL PAIN
The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) has launched its Global Year Against Visceral Pain initiative, bringing worldwide attention to pain that originates in or near the internal organs of the body. Visceral pain is the number one reason for patients to seek medical attention. The 12‐month campaign offers education for healthcare professionals, government leaders, and the public. See more info in our Newsroom>
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Thank you, for visiting, and we hope to see you here often.
Stewart B. Leavitt, MA, PhD, Executive Director