Posts Tagged ‘Pain’

Name your Chronic Pain, give him/her physical traits, then go to war

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“For many patients, what’s worse is the invisible nature of their condition.” ‘You can’t see pain, and this is a very big thing for these people,’ says Gustin.
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My two cents: I spent a year in a 15 person chronic pain group. Mostly serious spinal injury people taking on average 30 plus pills a day. Collectively, we feared our pain, we suffered without hope of a cure.

 

Opioids worked at first then faded with daily use. As time went on, it took more opioids to accomplish the same relief. Chronic Pain was winning this battle with the group.

 

I thought my pain levels placed me somewhere in the middle of the group. The only solace was being thankful I was not as bad as many in the group.

 

Eventually, I threw my pills away and named my pain. My goal was to battle my pain as the enemy. I found it near impossible to fight an invisible enemy.

 


It was like air, no form, invisible but very powerful. I named my pain Mister ”P”, like Mister Cunningham (Mister “C”) on Happy Days.

 


Most people in the pain group feared their pain, described it as powerful. We were all victims I concluded after a couple of months. I refused to be a victim and rebelled against the group.

 


I did the opposite, I cussed Mr “P” and belittled him during my workouts. Being a former professional baseball player, I used my strengths to fight this demon.

 

 

I walked, bringing Mr “P” out to play. Mr “P” would get aggravated, fire off violently, trying to get me to stop. The battle had commenced.

 

 

My body would rage with my chronic pain as I continued to walk, focused on my pain and my legs. Mr. “P” wanted to stop my legs from moving.


My whole being resisted these impulses.


With the help of some music with a steady beat, heard through small headphones, my legs would not give in. I walked another 15 minutes everyday.

 

After a couple of weeks of this my pain started to compress. Later, I would find out that pain is read two places in the brain. The pain itself and another area which is a coloring agent.


In this part of the brain,  pain can grow or compress and diminish.

 

As my pain diminished, my relationship with pain changed. I did not fear it or think about it anymore.

 

What once controlled my life, became more of an inconvenience, a body function to be managed.

 

Chronic pain is different and can be diminished with work and attitude.
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What chronic pain does to your brain: part 2

C7D19EAE-5D7E-47A8-A86B-B907C757F4C8A model brain bisected IMAGE: THE THALAMUS HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS THE ‘BORDER IN THE BRAIN’ (FLICKR/DJ NEIGHT/CC BY NC ND 2.0)
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Researchers also found people with chronic pain experienced a reduction in the volume of their prefrontal cortex—the region of the brain that is understood to regulate emotions, personality expression and social behaviour.

 

This results in a further decline in the neurotransmitter GABA.

 

‘Every emotion and every cognition is amplified. People with ongoing pain, they anticipate pain with a lot of fear and they worry a lot of the time, and they can’t dampen down these feelings because the prefrontal cortex has lost its ability to dampen down these thoughts.’

 

Anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts can be big problems for those living with chronic pain, says Gustin.

 

Twenty per cent try to suicide.

 

 

A lot of clients who I see, they can’t stop their worrying, they can’t stop their anxiety, and they ask me why.

 

‘I think showing them that there are subtle changes in the brain—and because of these subtle brain changes, they have these thoughts and they can’t stop it—it helps them to cope with that, because a lot of times they are stigmatised.
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Part one: What chronic pain does to your brain Monday 21 March 2016 by Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis

BFD6946C-8E91-46E8-9A4D-8CEAC665EBE4IMAGE: NEUROSCIENCE IS CLOSER THAN EVER TO UNDERSTANDING HOW CHRONIC PAIN AFFECTS THE BRAIN (MEDIA FOR MEDICAL/UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES)
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At least one in five Australians lives with chronic pain, and often the cause is unknown.

 

Scientists are just now discovering the crucial role the brain plays in how pain is experienced, and how it might pave the way for innovative treatment, write Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis.

 

The economic and social burden of chronic pain is enormous.

 

While analgesic drugs can provide pain relief for many, their side-effects, tolerance issues and addictiveness mean that scientists are on the hunt for alternative treatments.

 

Every emotion and every cognition is amplified. People with ongoing pain, they anticipate pain with a lot of fear and they worry a lot of the time.

 

DR SYLVIA GUSTIN, NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH AUSTRALIA

 

The challenge of developing such treatments has led to more research on the brain’s role in chronic pain.

 

‘At the moment we have focused our work to two areas in the brain,’ says Dr Sylvia Gustin from Neuroscience Research Australia. ‘One is called the thalamus—the other is the prefrontal cortex.’

 

Described as the ‘border in the brain’, the thalamus acts as the gateway between the spinal cord and higher brain

 

When you sustain an acute injury there is an opening in the thalamus for information to pass through from the affected body part to the brain.

 

‘This is very important because then we need to heal, we need to relax, we need to look after ourselves. After an acute injury is healed, we know that this border should actually close.’

 

When researching people who experience chronic pain, Gustin identified a key neurological difference: the opening in the thalamus remains open long after acute pain is gone.

 

Gustin’s team found a decrease in the volume of the thalamus, resulting in a decrease of a specific neurotransmitter: gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA.

 

‘What this means,’ Gustin says, ‘is that in people with ongoing pain, this border is always open. Every signal gets amplified and it results in the experience of pain.’

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Opioid lawsuit targets rich family behind drug that fueled US crisis Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, accused of fueling addiction while boosting profits

73473615-1842-4E00-8F31-5065EB9A653CPhotograph: George Frey/Reuters
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The Guardian:
Joanna Walters and agencies
Tue 12 Jun 2018

 

The prescription painkiller OxyContin at a pharmacy. The lawsuit takes the unusual step of personally naming the company executives.
The prescription painkiller OxyContin at a pharmacy. The lawsuit takes the unusual step of personally naming the company executives.

 

The state of Massachusetts on Tuesday sued the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, which has been blamed for spawning America’s opioids crisis, naming leading executives and members of the multibillionaire Sackler family that owns the pharmaceutical company.

The lawsuit accuses the company, Purdue Pharma, of spinning a “web of illegal deceit” to fuel the deadly drug abuse crisis while boosting profits.

Their strategy was simple: the more drugs they sold, the more money they made, and the more people died
Maura Healey, state attorney general
Purdue Pharma is already defending lawsuits from several states and local governments, but Massachusetts is the first state to take the unusual step of personally naming the company’s executives in a complaint, the state attorney general, Maura Healey, said. It names 16 current and former executives and board members, including the chief executive, Craig Landau, and eight members across three generations of the Sackler family that wholly owns Purdue.

The lawsuit alleges Purdue deceived patients and doctors about the risks of opioids, pushed prescribers to keep patients on the drugs longer and aggressively targeted vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and veterans.

“Their strategy was simple: the more drugs they sold, the more money they made, and the more people died,” Healey said on Tuesday.

Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, issued a statement saying it vigorously denied all the allegations and looked forward to presenting “substantial defenses” to the claims in the lawsuit.

“We share the attorney general’s concern about the opioid crisis. We are disappointed, however, that in the midst of good faith negotiations with many states, the commonwealth [of Massachusetts] has decided to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process. We will continue to work collaboratively with the states toward bringing meaningful solutions,” it stated.

Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general, has sued the maker of OxyContin over the deadly opioid crisis.
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Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general, has sued the maker of OxyContin over the deadly opioid crisis.

 

Purdue, along with some other painkiller makers and drug distributors, is currently facing more than 300 lawsuits from city and county authorities across the country. The lawsuits have been corralled into one multi-district case in a federal court in Ohio. The judge in that case has been pushing for a huge, quick settlement to compensate victims and assist in what the government has admitted is a public health crisis, in the way the so-called “Big Tobacco settlement” happened against cigarette companies in the 1990s. But some experts are calling for the case to go to trial in order to oblige the pharmaceutical companies to produce more evidence in the discovery process.

 

 

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“Altered Traits”: Seasoned meditators and pain

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Imagine now you hear a soft rumble as a five-gallon tank of water starts boiling and sends a stream of fluid through the thin rubber hose that runs through the two-inch square metal plate strapped tight on your wrist. The plate heats up, pleasantly at first.

 

 

But that pleasantness quickly heads toward pain, as the water temperature jumps several degrees within a couple of seconds.

 

 

Finally, you can’t take it anymore—if this were a hot stove you had touched, you would instantly pull away.

 

 

But you can’t remove that metal plate.

 

 

You feel the almost excruciating heat for a full ten seconds, sure you are getting burned.

 

But you get no burn; your skin is fine.

 

You’ve just reached your highest pain threshold, exactly what this device, the Medoc thermal stimulator, was designed to detect.

 

Used by neurologists to assess conditions like neuropathy that reveal deterioration of the central nervous system, the thermal stimulator has built-in safety devices so people’s skin won’t be burned, even as it calibrates precisely their maximum pain threshold.

 

And people’s pain thresholds are nowhere near the higher range at which burns occur.

 

That’s why the Medoc has been used with experimental volunteers to establish how meditation alters our perceptions of pain.

 

 

Among pain’s main components are our purely physiological sensations, like burning, and our psychological reactions to those sensations.

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Why is change almost impossible for most!!!!!

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From my experience, my research reading and asking those that cross my path, seems 10% take action and try! This is a generous number in my opinion.

 

This is just those who try, not necessarily heal. How many people search out the second therapy after the first fails? How many never give up?

 

We are talking about suffering, familiar suffering accepted without even trying to live free and unencumbered.

 

This mindset is foreign to me. My childhood was filled with unworthiness, my father demanded I be an overachiever, be twice as good as anyone else.

 

All I know is how to endure and exert effort, how the need to overachieve can make me closer to being worthy.

 

I have no clue why it is so difficult to take action, to risk.

 

This is a blind spot for me. I am an expert at suffering, negative self talk and extreme unworthiness, but it comes easy to expend all out effort. I earned this mindset enduring my childhood abuse.

 

Learning to be sensitive and respectful to those who are stuck has been a work in progress.

 

Even the smallest action is resisted. That first step brings massive responsibility.

 

That first step eliminates the victim hiding inside and brings out the real us.

 

Yes, we are vulnerable, exposed, this is the frightening path to healing.

 

Please share any insight in ways we can motivate others to take action.
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CDC just says no to opioid prescriptions for chronic pain

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CDC just says no to opioid prescriptions for chronic pain
New guideline aims to crack down on “doctor-driven” epidemic of overdose deaths.
by Beth Mole – Mar 15, 2016
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To help curb “one of the most pressing public health issues” of the day—the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released broad, first-of-its-kind guidelines for the use of the deadly medications.
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Of the 12 recommendations in the agency’s guidance, the most prominent is the suggestion that doctors refrain from giving opioid prescriptions for chronic pain—the drugs are OK to use for palliative care, cancer patients, and end-of-life treatments. Patients suffering from chronic pain should explore alternative treatment plans and strategies, such as non-opioid medications and exercise therapy, the agency says. And if a doctor feels an opioid should be used for chronic pain management in a patient, it should be done very thoughtfully and with close monitoring, including urine tests for undisclosed opioid use.
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“Plainly stated, the risks of opioids are addiction and death, and the benefits for chronic pain are often transient and generally unproven,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a press briefing Tuesday.
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Deborah Dowell, a senior medical advisor at the CDC and coauthor of the guidelines, noted during the briefing that although chronic pain sufferers accounted for only five percent of the patients receiving opioids, they may take in as much as 70 percent of opioid prescriptions. And chronic pain patients disproportionately suffer from addiction and overdoses.
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For acute pain sufferers, the agency recommends that the drugs should be given only after thoughtful consideration and at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible period—between three and seven days.
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While the guidelines are non-binding—the CDC is not a regulatory agency—officials are hopeful that the advice will help stem the tide of what has become a startling public health issue recently. Today, and every day this year, 40 Americans will die of a prescription opioid overdose, Frieden noted.
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From 2000 to 2014, the numbers of overdose deaths involving opioids, which include prescription opioids as well as heroin, increased by 200 percent. And a recent study found that of those who suffered an overdose, 91 percent were prescribed yet more opioids.
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“Last year, more Americans died from drug overdoses than car crashes,” Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), said. The problem, she went on, is devastating families nationwide. Thus, combating opioid use and overdose is a “national priority.” Along with the CDC’s guidelines, the HHS is working to make sure that naloxone—a drug that reverses opioid overdoses—is in the hands of first responders, Burwell said.
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But, Frieden concluded, health experts hope that the guidelines reduce the need for such strategies. “The prescription overdose epidemic is doctor-driven,” he said. “It can be reversed, in part, by doctors’ actions.”
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