Saturday, May 12, 2007

Surviving a loved one's chronic pain - A guide for family and friends of pain patients (David Kannerstein, PhD and Sarah M. Whitman, MD, Practical Pain Management, 2007)

This handout was inspired by a patient of mine who came
into my office and inquired what resources were available
for the family members of patients with pain to help
them understand what their loved ones were going through. He
discussed how his wife was frequently angry at him for not doing
more physically at home while she was at work and how she often
yelled at him. He felt guilty about it, but felt he did as much as
he could tolerate. I was embarrassed to admit that I did not
know of any handouts explicitly directed at spouses, family members,
and other loved ones. After doing some research on the
Internet, I discovered several very helpful publications, specifically
Julie Silver's 2004 book, Chronic Pain and the Family: A New
Guide (Harvard University Press) and the American Chronic Pain
Association family manual, ACPA Family Manual: A Manual for
Families of Persons with Pain, written by Penny Cowen (ACPA,
1998). I also found some helpful articles by Mark Grant, a psychologist
in Australia, especially his "Ten Tips for Communicating
With a Person Suffering From Chronic Pain," which is
available on his website, Mark was
kind enough to allow us to summarize his suggestions here. As
well, one of us (Whitman) has a website to help patients cope
with chronic pain, and occasionally discusses family issues on it
( Much of what is in this handout
is taken from these sources.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Wired 13.02: The Painful Truth

The Painful Truth

The Iraq war is a new kind of hell, with more survivors - but more maimed, shattered limbs - than ever. A revolution in battlefield medicine is helping them conquer the pain.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lyrica Significantly Reduced Pain and Helped Patients Manage the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia (press release)

Lyrica Significantly Reduced Pain and Helped Patients Manage the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Data Show

Significantly more patients treated with Pfizer's Lyrica reduced their pain by 50 percent or more compared with placebo, according to study results presented today at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting. Clinically, this outcome would equate to a patient with severe pain reporting a reduction to mild to moderate pain.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic, widespread pain conditions and is thought to result from neurological changes in how patients perceive pain. Fibromyalgia is usually accompanied by poor sleep, stiffness and fatigue. The pain of fibromyalgia can hamper a patient's ability to work and often results in increased medical costs and disability. There are no medications approved to treat fibromyalgia.

"A growing body of evidence is defining the biology behind fibromyalgia that causes such devastating and constant pain," said Dr. I. Jon Russell, one of the study's authors and associate professor of medicine in the division of clinical immunology and rheumatology and director of the university clinical research center at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. "A reduction in pain is critical for people living with this condition. With positive new data and new treatments on the horizon, the outlook for people with fibromyalgia has never been better."

The 14-week placebo-controlled study included 745 patients with fibromyalgia who were randomized to receive Lyrica (300mg, 450mg or 600mg) or placebo daily. Patients were asked to measure their pain on a scale of zero to 10; the baseline score for study participants was 6.7 on this 10-point scale.

The study found that patients receiving 600mg a day of Lyrica reduced their pain by 2.05 on the pain scale; 2.03 for patients taking 450mg a day; 1.75 for patients taking 300mg a day, and 1.04 for patients taking placebo.

Significantly more patients treated with Lyrica reduced their pain by 50 percent or more compared with placebo. Of those patients taking 600mg of Lyrica a day, 30 percent said their pain was cut in half or better; 27 percent of those taking 450mg a day and 24 percent of those taking 300mg also reported this level of pain relief. Of those taking placebo, 15 percent reported pain reduction of 50 percent or greater.

Patients receiving Lyrica also reported significant improvements in overall health status and outcomes, including measures such as physical function and ability to perform everyday tasks.

The most common side effects in the study were dizziness and somnolence, followed by weight gain, headache and peripheral edema.

The Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Sciences Group

Aiding Physiotherapists in the battle against pain


The primary purpose of this site is to collect feedback from those suffering from Central Pain. Please take a moment and respond to our online survey. does NOT dispense medical advice nor diagnosis. It exists as a forum for educational information on nerve injury pain and to collect information from the survey. NEVER rely on the internet where your health is concerned. See your own personal physician and rely on your professional caregivers, hopefully a pain clinic, not this site.

All material on this site is © Kevin McHenry

The Pain Web : the site for professional researching in, assessing and treating pain

This website is for health professionals dealing in research, assessment and treatment of pain. There are over 12000 sites, and nearly 3 million pages which deal with pain on the web. These include some very informed but very narrow sites, drug company and equipment manufacturing sites, society sites and many others. Some are good, some confusing and some are quite frankly awful.

We think there needs to be a website to help you to know what is on the best of the other websites. We hope that this will be it. This will require a fair amount of funding, but we hope to be able to develop this.

In the meantime this site will contain useful information, constantly updated, which will be of great interest to health professionals. It will include details of forthcoming meetings and reports on those meetings as they take place. Top personalities in the field of pain and its relief will be interviewed. Their opinions, and those of others in the field, will be highlighted and discussed. There will be case studies showing both routine and difficult histories. News and views, regularly updated, will make this a site you need to log on to on a regular basis. There will be a noticeboard for you to contact your colleagues around the world with your interests, questions and comments. There will be a job segment, with details of the many jobs worldwide available in the field in all disciplines.

The future

In the second phase of development, we hope to look at education and training. We will forge links with the various society websites and flag up on this site when they have something new to say. We will monitor the world press, television and radio, and report on pain-related topics. We will encourage contributions from our viewers, including papers, comments and research. We will develop a discussion room.

Any information on jobs, meetings, reports and news will be gratefully accepted. Details of opinions, case studies and ideas can be e-mailed to Dr Chris Wells at, and some may be included for publication. This site will be as good as you make it. We will do our best; hopefully you will do yours.