Showing posts with label Pain management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pain management. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

7-Fold Spike Seen in Opioid-Linked Fatal Car Crashes

From Med Line Health Day on 07/31/17:

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In yet another sign of just how deadly the U.S. opioid epidemic has become, researchers report a sevenfold increase in the number of drivers killed in car crashes while under the influence of prescription painkillers.
Prescriptions for drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicoprofen) and morphine have quadrupled, from 76 million in 1991 to nearly 300 million in 2014, so it's no surprise these medications are playing a growing role in highway deaths, the Columbia University researchers said.
"The significant increase in proportion of drivers who test positive for prescription pain medications is an urgent public health concern," said lead researcher Stanford Chihuri.
Prescription drugs can cause drowsiness, impaired thinking and slowed reaction times, which can interfere with driving skills, Chihuri said.
For more click here.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cognitive behavioral therapy improves functioning for people with chronic pain, study shows

From Science Daily on July 11, 2017

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most frequently used psychological intervention for people with chronic pain, and new approaches for improving CBT outcomes may be found in the psychological flexibility model and Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), according to research.

Editor's note:

There are many reasons why psychotherapy can help people suffering from chronic pain. Stress often aggravates pain and reducing stress may then decrease pain. Also, making a distinction between "pain" and "suffering" is helpful. Some people may have lesser amounts of pain but suffer greatly, while others have higher amounts of pain and suffer much less. Why would this be?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Narcotic Painkiller Use Tied to Higher Risk for Depression

From Health Day on 02/20/15:
FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- High doses of powerful narcotic painkillers appear to be linked to a higher risk of depression in patients, new research finds.
The study focuses on a class of prescription narcotic painkillers called opioids, which include drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. While most people use the medicines to ease pain, widespread abuse of narcotic painkillers is also a growing concern.
The new study involved 355 patients in Texas who reported low back pain at an initial medical visit and still had the pain one and two years later.
Although the study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, people who used higher doses of narcotic painkillers to manage their pain were more likely to have an increase in depression, the researchers found.
For more click here.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pain does not mean, necessarily, suffering.

I meet with many clients who complain of pain of all types and in all parts of the body. Some of them are on pain medications which sometimes become abused and then sometimes the person becomes addicted. Once a person becomes addicted to pain medication, especially opiates, withdrawal from the drug causes pain all its own and it becomes difficult to discern how much of the pain the person is complaining about is generated by physical problems and how much from the medication withdrawal. At this point, pain becomes a viscous cycle because the easiest way to stop the pain of withdrawal is with more of the medication that is causing the addiction in the first place.

Sometimes I share, in therapy, the idea with the client that it can be helpful to make a distinction between pain and suffering. Some people have difficult pain but they do not suffer because they have found ways to cope with the pain. Other people have little pain but suffer a great deal because of their fears and resistance.

Studies have found, interestingly, that two of the best ways to cope with pain is acceptance and distraction. The more a person fights the pain and resists it, the more tense and anxious the person becomes and the worse the pain gets. Sometimes it is best to accept the pain, go with the flow, and relax as best you can. "It is what it is" as the Buddhists say.

Distraction also can help when the person can put their mind on something more interesting, engaging, and enjoyable. This takes some deliberate and purposeful intention and focusing. Practicing this distraction by refocusing is what I call "mind control." It is a skill which a person can get better at the more he/she practices. It is like a muscle that gets stronger with exercise.

I have found that relaxation techniques can also be very helpful using isometric exercises where the person deliberately tenses and relaxes the various muscle groups in the body.

For more information click here for an brief article entitled "Pain: The Two Best Psychological Techniques For Coping." on Psyblog.