Health and Fitness

Radiofrequency Ablation Safe And Effective For Reducing Pain From Bone Metastases

Image-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally invasive cancer treatment which can be performed in the outpatient setting, significantly reduced the level of pain experienced by cancer patients with bone (osseous) metastases, limiting the need for strong narcotic pain management, and supporting improved patient frame of mind, according to results of an American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) study published online in the journal Cancer. Each year in United States, more than a million new cancer cases are diagnosed. Between 30 and 70 percent of these patients will develop a bone metastasis - an often intensely painful condition. Current pain treatments are not effective for all of these patients. Many require increasing doses of narcotics for pain management. RFA is an image-guided technology that uses heat to kill, or ablate, tumor cells. This study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), demonstrated that RFA, often used to treat liver, kidney and lung cancer tumors, is also a safe and effective pain management tool for patients with bone metastases.

Fear Of Prescription Drug Abuse Affects Pain Management

Millions of Americans with significant or chronic pain associated with their medical problems are being under-treated as physicians increasingly fail to provide comprehensive pain treatment - either due to inadequate training, personal biases or fear of prescription drug abuse. A pharmaceutical expert in pain management in the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University says the issue is reaching crisis proportions, and in two new professional publications argues that health consumers must be aware of the problem and in many cases become more informed, persistent advocates for the care they need and deserve. "We have more sophisticated pain management techniques available now than ever before, " said Kathryn Hahn, a pharmacist, affiliate faculty member at OSU and chair of the Oregon Pain Management Commission. "But many doctors are not fully informed about all the options available, and also often turn patients away because they're very concerned about the problems with prescription drug abuse.

Effectively Relieving Pain After Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Fibrin sealant has been an extremely effective and widely used adjunct to surgical procedures to control diffuse slow bleeding over large surfaces. In addition, fibrin sealant has been used as a carrier for other compounds. Thus, it has been used to release medicines slowly at a fixed site and is therefore effective for a long time. A study led by Jian-Zhu Fu from the Department of General Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, has recently been published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Pain after LC includes three components, visceral, parietal, and shoulder pain. This study concluded that implanting fibrin sealant combined with ropivacaine in the gallbladder bed is effective in controlling both visceral and shoulder pain after LC. Reference: Fu JZ, Li J, Yu ZL. Effect of implanting fibrin sealant with ropivacaine on pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(46): 5851-5854

New Insight Into Nerve Cell Communication

Communication between nerve cells is vital for our bodies to function. Part of this communication happens through vesicles containing signalling molecules called neurotransmitters. The vesicle fuses with the nerve cell membrane; the neurotransmitters are released and quickly recorded by the next nerve cell. It is crucial that new vesicles constantly are produced for the nerve cell communication continuously to take place. If parts of this communication do not work, it leads to nerve pain like phantom pain following amputation. New discoveries on a nanoscale In patients with nerve pain, part of the pathological picture is a defect in a protein domain we call BAR. We have studied how BAR binds to small membrane vesicles of different size. We expect that the new knowledge can be used to combat nerve pain in the future, explains Associate Professor Dimitrios Stamou, Bio-Nanotechnology Laboratory, Nano-Science Center and the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology. Dimitrios Stamou has led the work.

Childhood Maltreatment And Migraine part III . Association With Comorbid Pain Conditions - Childhood maltreatment is prevalent and has been associated with a wide range of adult psychiatric and physical disorders. Many studies have focused on the relationship of abuse with depression and anxiety, 2 conditions strongly associated with chronic pain syndromes. The relationship of childhood maltreatment and chronic pain conditions remains a subject of considerable debate. Dr. Gretchen Tietjen and her American and Canadian colleagues from the Women's Issues Section research consortium of the American Headache Society studied a cross-section of headache clinic patients between February 2006 and June 2008. A total of 1348 patients who received a diagnosis of migraine completed the surveys. The average age was 41 years and 88% of participants were female. Prevalence of current depression was 28% and anxiety was 56%. The frequency of self-reported physician diagnoses of comorbid pain conditions ranged from 24% for arthritis to 5% for chronic fatigue syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome was reported in 31%, chronic fatigue syndrome was reported in 16%, and fibromyalgia in 10% of patients.

Ultrasound-Guided Cortisone Injections May Help Treat Severe Hip Pain

Ultrasound-guided cortisone injections may be an effective treatment method for gluteus medius tendinopathy, a common, painful condition caused by an injury to the tendons in the buttocks that typically affects middle-aged to elderly women and young active individuals, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. Gluteus medius tendinopathy can cause severe hip pain. "The underlying causes remain unclear but probably are multi-factorial and involve mechanical and degenerative processes, " said Etienne Cardinal, MD, lead author of the study. Medical treatment usually includes physiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and local injections of corticosteroids. The study, performed at the University of Montreal's Hospital Center, included 54 patients with gluteus medius tendinopathy. Ultrasound-guided cortisone injections were performed on all patients. "One month after treatment, 72 percent of the patients showed a clinically significant improvement in pain level.

Fast Bandaid Removal Less Painful Than Slow Bandaid Removal

A randomised trial has found that fast bandaid removal is less painful to healthy young adults than slow bandaid removal, according to a report published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Operators applied medium-sized bandaids to 65 Second and Third Year medical students at James Cook University and removed the bandaids using slow and fast techniques. The students were asked to rate their pain using an 11-point scoring system, with 0 representing "no pain" and 10 representing "worst pain imaginable". "The average overall pain score for fast bandaid removal was 0.92 and for slow bandaid removal was 1.58. The average overall pain scores for women were significantly lower than for men (0.91 compared to 1.64). This may be due to higher pain tolerance, although men did tend to have more body hair, " study co-author Dr Carl O'Kane said. "A high body hair score was, not surprisingly, associated with higher pain scores, and it seemed that preconceptions about pain also had an appreciable effect.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Coxibs Counter The Positive Effects Of Aspirin In Preventing Blood Clots

A new study conducted at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) reveals that Celebrex and other anti-inflammatory coxib medications may counter the positive effects of aspirin in preventing blood clots. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), indicates that people who are taking aspirin and coxibs together are in fact inhibiting the aspirin's effectiveness in preventing heart attacks and strokes. "This finding strongly suggests that humans who are consuming coxibs and a low dose of aspirin simultaneously are exposed to a greater risk of cardiovascular events, " said Professor Gilad Rimon, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. In the past decade, a new group of anti-inflammatory drugs, coxibs, which include Celebrex and Arcoxia was developed to treat arthritis as well as other pain. Arthritis patients who take Celebrex are instructed to take low-dose aspirin to counteract Celebrex's own potential clot-promoting effect.

What Is Whiplash? What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash, or WAD (whiplash-associated disorders) refers to a series of neck injuries caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck - hyperextension (over-extension) injury to the neck. In many cases whiplash is the result of being struck from behind, for example, by a fast moving vehicle in an automobile accident. In a typical case the victim's body is initially pushed or accelerated forward while the head remains behind for an instant, making the head rock up and back, stretching and/or tearing some muscles, tendons and ligaments. The muscles react automatically (reflex motion) to bring the heard forward - sometimes this is overdone and the head may rock forward violently, further stretching and/or tearing muscles, tendons and ligaments. Tendons are tissues by which muscles attach to bone. Tendons are flexible, fibrous and tough. Like ligaments, tendons are tough flexible cords. Ligaments go from bone-to-bone while tendons go from muscle-to-bone. Although tendons and ligaments are tough, they are known as soft tissue (because they are usually compared to bone or cartilage).

Opiate Painkillers May Encourage Spread Of Cancer

New research from the US adds weight to the growing body of evidence that opiate-based painkillers like morphine, which has been used to treat postoperative and chronic cancer pain for two hundred years, encourage cancer cells to grow and spread. If confirmed with clinical studies, these findings could change the type of anasthetics given to cancer patients during surgery and the type of painkillers they use afterwards. Two new studies, presented last week at the "Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics" meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, held by the American Association for Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute, and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, showed how shielding lung cancer cells from opiates reduced cell proliferation, invasion and migration in cell cultures and in mice. The studies were the work of Dr Patrick A Singleton, principal author of both studies and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and colleagues.

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