Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Transcendental Meditation could reduce the brain's response to pain because neuroimaging and autonomic studies indicate that it produces a physiological state capable of modifying various kinds of pain. In time it reduces trait anxiety, improves stress reactivity and decreases distress from acute pain.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Gone are the days when patients slipped into a plastic surgeon’s office alone and sometimes in disguise for a consultation and, after the surgery, slinked away to a secret location to recover. Now, patients may arrive not only with a wish list of procedures they have seen on TV or researched online, but also flanked by parents, siblings, spouses or partners. Or the wild card: the friend.
For some doctors, having a second person in the room can be extra insurance that the serious information they are trying to impart is being heard. But at times the consultation begins to feel like a shopping trip to Barneys.
“They come in like it’s a party event,” Dr. Hidalgo said. “Like, ‘We need an activity today, let’s go see the plastic surgeon.’ ”
Thursday, August 24, 2006
- People with chronic pain or illness learning how to live with their condition
- Their friends and family
- Their caregivers.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Alone but Feeling No Pain: Effects of Social Exclusion on Physical Pain Tolerance and Pain Threshold, Affective Forecasting, and Interpersonal Empathy
Alone but Feeling No Pain: Effects of Social Exclusion on Physical Pain Tolerance and Pain Threshold,Affective Forecasting, and Interpersonal Empathy
C. Nathan DeWall, Roy F. Baumeister
Prior findings of emotional numbness (rather than distress) among socially excluded persons led us to investigate whether exclusion causes a far-reaching insensitivity to both physical and emotional pain. Experiments 1-4 showed that receiving an ostensibly diagnostic forecast of a lonesome future life reduced sensitivity to physical pain, as indicated by both (higher) thresholds and tolerance. Exclusion also caused emotional insensitivity, as indicated by reductions in affective forecasting of joy or woe over a future football outcome (Experiment 3), as well as lesser empathizing with another person’s suffering from either romantic breakup (Experiment 4) or a broken leg (Experiment 5). The insensitivities to pain and emotion were highly intercorrelated.
http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~dewall/DeWallBaumeisterRejPainJPSPpreprint.pdf#search="Alone but Feeling No Pain: Effects of Social Exclusion on Physical Pain Tolerance and Pain Threshold, Affective Forecasting and Interpersonal Empathy"
PAIN OVERLAP THEORY
Pain overlap theory proposes that social pain, the pain that we experience when social relationships are damaged or lost, and physical pain, the pain that we experience upon physical injury, share parts of the same underlying processing system (Eisenberger & Lieberman, 2004). Th is system is responsible for detecting the presence or possibility of physical or social harm and recruiting attention once something has gone wrong in order to fi x it. Evolutionarily, this overlap makes good sense. Based on mammalian infants’ lengthy period of immaturity and their critical need for substantial maternal contact and care, it is possible that the social attachment system, the system that keeps us near close others, may have piggybacked onto the pre-existing pain system, borrowing the pain signal to signify and prevent the danger of social separation (Nelson & Panksepp, 1998; Panksepp, 1998).
http://www.scn.ucla.edu/pdf/RT424X_C07-1.pdf#search="dewall baumeister pain"
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
TV 'can numb pain for children' - Watching television may act as a natural painkiller for children, Italian research indicates
Monday, August 14, 2006
|The UCSD CMA Pain Management and Appropriate Care of the Terminally Ill: Somatoform Disorders program features a series of pain case conferences in which physicians present interesting and challenging cases to a multidisciplinary pain panel of experts knowledgeable in treating the type of pain each patient presents. The patient's physician provides the history, examination, labs and radiology, and diagnosis along with other pertinent information to the panel. Experts give brief presentations on topics specific to the case. The panel discussions include the overall assessment, anatomy, etiology, prevalence, patient education procedures, treatment options and patient monitoring.|
|Gene's experience receiving treatment for Fibromyalgia. A testimonial about treatment experiences at a private pain center.|
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Why Is Behavioral Research Important to Understanding Pain?
Pain has a profound effect on the quality of human life. Pain can cause disruptions in sleep, eating, mobility, and overall ability to function. Progress is being made in understanding the physiological mechanisms involved in pain. However, understanding individuals' pain experience presents unique scientific challenges. The levels of pain different people experience and their reactions to it vary widely, perhaps due to psychological state, age, gender, social environment, and cultural background, as well as genetic or physiological differences. Thus, the pain experience needs to be examined at all levels of basic and clinical research, including behavioral research, with the goal of developing interventions to manage or prevent pain.
Behavioral and social sciences research include a wide array of disciplines. The field uses such techniques as:
- surveys and questionnaires
- randomized clinical trials
- direct observation
- descriptive methods
- economic analyses
- laboratory and field experiments
- standardized tests
Suffer with pain or wander off to wonderland
Alicia R. Parlette was 23 last year when she was told she had a life-threatening cancer. This is one in an occasional series of articles about her experience. For previous articles and a list of cancer resources, go to www.sfgate.com/alicia .
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Marion Good loves to play music in her spare time. But as a professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, she also prescribes it for pain relief.
Her interest in researching music for pain began when as a nurse on a neurology unit she worked with patients suffering from back pain. "I would bring music into the room -- soft quiet music. Their faces just relaxed ... pretty soon they fell asleep," she says. "I had to tiptoe out of the room and come back an hour or two later to pick up my tape recorder."
Good has been testing music with post-operative patients for more than 15 years. "I found that music does reduce pain up to about 31 percent in my studies in addition to medication," she says.
Friday, August 04, 2006
He Who Cast the First Stone Probably Didn’t
If the first principle of legitimate punching is that punches must be even-numbered, the second principle is that an even-numbered punch may be no more forceful than the odd-numbered punch that preceded it. Legitimate retribution is meant to restore balance, and thus an eye for an eye is fair, but an eye for an eyelash is not. When the European Union condemned Israel for bombing Lebanon in retaliation for the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, it did not question Israel’s right to respond, but rather, its “disproportionate use of force.” It is O.K. to hit back, just not too hard.
Research shows that people have as much trouble applying the second principle as the first. In a study conducted by Sukhwinder Shergill and colleagues at University College London, pairs of volunteers were hooked up to a mechanical device that allowed each of them to exert pressure on the other volunteer’s fingers.
The researcher began the game by exerting a fixed amount of pressure on the first volunteer’s finger. The first volunteer was then asked to exert precisely the same amount of pressure on the second volunteer’s finger. The second volunteer was then asked to exert the same amount of pressure on the first volunteer’s finger. And so on. The two volunteers took turns applying equal amounts of pressure to each other’s fingers while the researchers measured the actual amount of pressure they applied.
The results were striking. Although volunteers tried to respond to each other’s touches with equal force, they typically responded with about 40 percent more force than they had just experienced. Each time a volunteer was touched, he touched back harder, which led the other volunteer to touch back even harder. What began as a game of soft touches quickly became a game of moderate pokes and then hard prods, even though both volunteers were doing their level best to respond in kind.
Each volunteer was convinced that he was responding with equal force and that for some reason the other volunteer was escalating. Neither realized that the escalation was the natural byproduct of a neurological quirk that causes the pain we receive to seem more painful than the pain we produce, so we usually give more pain than we have received.
Research teaches us that our reasons and our pains are more palpable, more obvious and real, than are the reasons and pains of others. This leads to the escalation of mutual harm, to the illusion that others are solely responsible for it and to the belief that our actions are justifiable responses to theirs.http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/24/opinion/24gilbert.html?ei=5090&en=d3a663fcc34a3d8b&ex=1311393600&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
New medical technique treats chronic facial pain
CTV.ca News Staff
A new method for treating patients suffering from severe chronic facial pain is being introduced at select medical centres in Canada.
When traditional drugs or physical therapy fails in the treatement of chronic pain, considered consistent or intermittent pain that lasts six months or more, some doctors are turning to an experimental treatment known as motor cortex stimulation.
The treatment method, an electrical pain control system, places electrodes under the patient's skull over an area of the brain (motor cortex) that processes facial pain.http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060620/chronic_pain_060620/20060620?hub=Canada
Chronic pain affects approximately 48 million people in the U.S. and current medications are either largely ineffective or have serious side effects. But researchers from Columbia University Medical Center have discovered a protein in nerve cells that acts as a switch for chronic pain, and have applied for a patent to develop a new class of drugs that will block chronic pain by turning this switch off. The discovery is published on the website of the journal Neuroscience, and will appear in the publication's August issue.
Most prior attempts at alleviating chronic pain have focused on the "second order" neurons in the spinal cord that relay pain messages to the brain. It's difficult to inhibit the activity of these neurons with drugs, though, because the drugs need to overcome the blood-brain barrier. Instead, the CUMC researchers have focused on the more accessible "first order" neurons in the periphery of our body that send messages to the spinal cord.
Pain becomes chronic when the activity of first and second order neurons persists after damaged neuron heals or the tissue inflammation subsides. It's been known for years that for chronic pain to persist, a master switch must be turned on inside the peripheral neurons, though until now the identity of this switch remained a mystery. Richard Ambron, Ph.D., professor of cell biology, and Ying-Ju Sung, Ph.D., assistant professor, both in the department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, have now discovered that the switch is an enzyme called protein kinase G (PKG).
The researchers found that upon injury or inflammation, the PKG is turned on and activated. Once activated, these molecules set off other processes that generate the pain messages. As long as the PKG remains on, the pain persists. Conversely, turning the PKG off relieves the pain, making PKG an excellent target for therapy.