Category: Pain management

Fish Oil Reduces Chronic Pain in Case Studies

2 June, 2011 (23:21) | Pain management | By: Health news

5 patients with chronic pain resulting from burns, spinal stenosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, or cervical disc herniation

Study Medication and Dosage
Combinations of EPA and DHA totaling 2,400–7,200 mg/day depending on pain severity

Primary Outcome Measures
McGill Pain Questionnaire, DN4 neuropathic pain scales, the Pain Detect Questionnaire, grip strength, and tender point algometry

Key Findings
In all cases, significant reductions in pain were reported.

Case 1 involved a patient with C6/C7 disc herniation compressing the right C7 nerve root accompanied by spinal stenosis. A combined EPA+DHA dose of 4,800 mg/day for 8 months led to a 42% increase in grip strength, a 92% increase in triceps extension strength, and a total elimination of pain. Improvement began after 2.5 weeks.

Case 2 involved a patient with thoracic outlet syndrome and fibromyalgia. A combined EPA+DHA dose of 2,400 mg/day for 7 months led to a 43% reduction in pain as measured by the McGill pain questionnaire and a 60% increase in grip strength on the affected side. A 13-month follow-up measurement of the Pain Detect Questionnaire revealed a 70% reduction in pain from baseline and an 80% reduction in DN4 pain scores.

Case 3 involved a patient suffering from an accident-triggered C6/C7 disc protrusion. X-rays also revealed evidence of moderate-to-severe stenosis of the cervical spine. A combined EPA+DHA dose of 4,800 mg/day, later increased to 7,200 mg/day, for a total of 17 months led to a 90% reduction in the Pain Detect Questionnaire score, a 65% reduction in pain as measured by the McGill pain questionnaire, and an 8% increase in grip strength on the affected side.

Case 4 involved a patient with pain from carpal tunnel syndrome. A combined EPA+DHA dose of 3,000 mg per day for 8 months led to a 41% reduction in a global symptom score. The patient improved enough return to a fulltime work schedule without needing surgery.

Case 5 involved a patient with 1st and 2nd degree burns on 30% of the total body surface. A combination of EPA+DHA (1,200 mg per 23 kg body weight) led to 25–53% reduction in pain scores and an unspecified reduction in morphine dosage.

Practice Implications
This is the first published report examining the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on neuropathic pain. A variety of potential mechanisms explaining how EPA and DHA might reduce such pain have been suggested (eg, the blocking of voltage-gated sodium channels) but to date these mechanistic explanations remain hypothetical.

In this column we generally avoid reporting on the findings of case studies. A small number of subjects paired with a lack of placebo control or randomization or blinding of the observer, and a lack of statistical analysis do not add up to adequate scientific support.

However, the findings of case studies can trigger further research and even, as may be the case here, some immediate experimentation on the part of healthcare practitioners.

However, the findings of case studies can trigger further research and even, as may be the case here, some immediate experimentation on the part of healthcare practitioners.

Treatment of patients with the kinds of chronic pain reported in this series of cases can be difficult. The sharp reductions in chronic pain reported here far exceed what would be expected from placebo effect alone and suggest that some readers of this column may, when other therapies fail to produce adequate clinical results, consider therapeutic trials with high-dose EPA+DHA. Further evidence is needed before omega-3 fatty acids can be proven to reduce pain in cases such as those described here.

The Five Most Common Causes of Neck Pain

16 October, 2010 (15:37) | Pain management | By: Health news

Neck pain is common, and almost everyone experiences it at least once in their lifetime. This pain can be mild to severe and intermittent to chronic. The intensity and duration may depend on the initial cause(s) of the pain and/or how much treatment is received and how quickly.

Understanding how neck problems can develop is a good starting point for preventing it in the first place. These are the five most common causes of neck pain:

1) Soft tissue injury/trauma: “Soft tissue injury” refers to damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. The neck is laden with vulnerable soft tissue. This tissue is easily injured when the head is jarred suddenly, such as in a car crash (whiplash). It can also occur when playing sports, falling down stairs or other kinds of accidents.

Soft tissue damage due to injury can be difficult to prevent, since it’s unpredictable and can happen almost anytime, anywhere. You can decrease your risk of this type of injury by maintaining good posture, wearing proper protective gear when playing sports, and always being aware of your surroundings. Regular exercise, particularly exercise that strengthens your core muscles and upper body, can also help prevent neck soft tissue injury.

2) Degenerative disc disease: The name may be a bit misleading, since disc degeneration is a normal part of the aging process. With this condition, the discs in the spine may become inflamed and lead to neck pain.

In most cases the condition does not cause chronic pain. Flare-ups can be treated with ibuprofen or natural care, such as chiropractic or acupuncture. Cases which are more severe or lead to chronic pain are sometimes treated surgically.

3) Herniated disc: A disc in this condition pushes out of its normal covering. The disc may even rupture. Herniated or ruptured discs can be mildly to severely painful. Treatment usually involves activity modification, exercises and ibuprofen for pain. More serious cases that don’t respond to mild treatments may require steroid treatment or surgery.

4) Pinched nerves (Radiculopathy): The spinal cord is comprised of a number of nerves. These nerves can become compressed due to injury or other spine conditions (like disc degeneration). It can also occur simply from poor posture while walking, standing, sitting or sleeping.

Manipulation by a chiropractor can be effective at loosening tight areas. Other treatments like acupuncture and laser therapy may also be beneficial. Pain can be treated with ibuprofen when needed.

5) Bone injuries: A broken collarbone or spinal fracture can cause pain in the neck. Broken bones can occur even with seemingly innocuous injuries and need immediate treatment. If you experience neck pain after some type of injury or fall, even a small one, seek medical attention.

Meningitis, or inflammation of the meninges, can cause pain in the neck. Meningitis is uncommon, but is a serious condition that can lead to death if not treated quickly. If you have trouble bending your neck forward or twisting it sideways as normal, you should seek medical attention. You should be especially wary if you experience neck pain with flu-like symptoms, such as headache or fever, or if you’ve been exposed to someone with meningitis.

The treatment depends on the type of pain you are experiencing. You may find neck pain relief at home by applying heat (a warm compress) or cold (an ice pack).

You can also find some relief by taking ibuprofen. However, this is not a treatment, but simply a method for temporarily reducing pain. Visit a medical professional who can determine and treat the source of the problem.

Loving Existence in Discomfort

18 August, 2010 (20:23) | Pain management | By: Health news

How can you carry on loving lifestyle if you are constantly suffering from back again agony, migraines, knee pain, foot pain, or neck and shoulder discomfort? Embracing lifestyle can be extremely difficult if one is in fear of stretching their physical bodies and encounter soreness and tension. There are distinct methods of relieving soreness and strain without having getting any medication or drug treatments. There are even procedures that not only alleviate the soreness but even enhance the degree of power and top quality of life. Using medicines to control soreness have a tendency to take away mental clarity. But getting in pain also distract a single from becoming in concentrate with what they are undertaking.

When a particular person is interested in managing agony and anxiety with no medication, it is very best to inform the health practitioner or the attending physician initial. They would know suitable strategies that are greatest fit for the patient’s problem. There are diverse techniques of soreness management with out using any drugs or agony relievers. In Healthful Visions Wellness Middle, they have been using hypnosis to teach people to manage their agony.

How does it operate?

When a patient is experiencing discomfort, electrical signals are sent to the brain. What they do is they quit the signal to cease the soreness. An case in point encounter is to imaging or pretend to ear a lemon. For most individuals they experience the tart, tangy and at times soreness in the jaw although consuming the lemon. That is mainly because the memory or the thought of the lemon to the subconscious thoughts is genuine so it responds as it would to the real consuming of the lemon. It creates, the same biochemical, physiological response as if the lemon was actually eaten. So, one can adjust the even though in order to adjust the response.

One more illustration of normal healing is reflexology. This is the practice of massaging, squeezing or pushing on parts of the feet, hands and even the head to develop a advantageous impact on diverse components of the human body or alleviate discomfort. There are things on the foot and hand that correspond to areas of the entire body.

It is essential, however, to know that reflexology has no proven efficacy. Some people delay looking for traditional aid since reflexology has helped them offer with the pain. There are concerns from wellness care pros that occasionally possibly serious illnesses were not treated accordingly or addressed instantly. For pains that are not generally encountered or unusual, it is extremely important to seek advice from a physician to diagnose the source or cause of the soreness.Acupuncture, which is an ancient training, has also supply soreness relief for numerous individuals. Fine needles are inserted into the skin at strategic points on the human body to reduce soreness and treat ailment. This approach has been produced by the Chinese in accordance with the theory that vitality flows via channels in between the surface of the entire body and internal organs.

In accordance to the Nationwide Institutes of Health’s Countrywide Center for Complementary and Option Medication, there is evidence that acupuncture stimulates the points that releases electromagnetic signals. These signals send the flow of healing or discomfort-killing chemicals to injured places. Acupuncture might improve the flow of these normal pain killers. That is why people experience relieved from discomfort, they even say that they have a higher sense of properly-becoming, each physically and emotionally.

A lot more and a lot more individuals are showing interest in unconventional healthcare approaches to cure agony and also other well being issues. Relating to the survey by the Nationwide Institutes of Wellness and the U.S. Centers for Illness Regulate and Prevention, about 38 percent of adults are making use of option treatments. Kids using option medicine for back soreness, cold, anxiety, anxiety and interest deficit hyperactivity disorder have also enhanced. Discomfort can be cured and addressed by means of diverse procedures. It is just a matter of deciding on the greatest way that is appropriate for our demands. Loving living in midst of discomfort can nonetheless be a reality.

Whiplash Or Neck Pain Injury

21 July, 2010 (18:20) | Pain management | By: Health news

Many people experience some form of neck injury and its very painful. Often the injury, if it involves a car crash from behind, is referred to as whiplash. This type injury usually involves a sudden jolt of movement forward and the muscles immediately become inflamed and swell, guarding starts as part of the inflammatory process. The first 12 to 24 hours are generally not as severely painful as the time period following the acute onset. It is after the initial trauma the pain can become unbearable. During the first acute episode, following the trauma, its best to ice, cool the neck area because the body has responded to the trauma and initiated a series of chemical reactions to stop the harmful effects. The problem is inflammation, swelling, which began with the influx of new chemical reactions. Because the excess fluid is captured in the tissue area there is an expansion of cells and eventually a rupture in the cell walls themselves which will later require repair to gain full function. After the swelling has stopped then warm moist heat is a very good option to begin dealing with the inevitable pain that follows. Here are some practical remedies in 3 simple steps…

  • Step 1 – Ice Down/ Chill
  • The initial step to be taken is ice, cool down the neck injury area. You will need to do this because the muscles will start swelling and there will be a build up of cellular fluids resulting in cell/tissue destruction. Some of the destruction will be the result of the traumatic injury but there will also be additional damage due to the inflammatory response of the immune system. You will need to carefully avoid treating with heat during the acute phase, as the heat will increase blood flow and increase the swelling and tissue damage..

    You will need to do the chill initial step promptly. If you do it promptly, then the swelling will subside and there will be less damage and less pain.

  • Step 2 – Apply Warm Moist Heat
  • Your second step is going to be after the first 12 – 24 hours, when the swelling has subsided, then begin warm moist heat for the pain. If you don’t have a moist heat pad then simply use warm water on a towel and apply to the neck area. If possible in order to extend the heat of the towel you can put a piece of reflective aluminum foil over the top to contain the heat and not allow it to evaporate. Things you’ll want to avoid here are be careful of using pain medications that may leave you sleepy or groggy. To heal its not necessary to basically “drug oneself” out of awareness. You should stay away from driving a car or getting in any situation where a quick movement, or the need for a quick movement reaction, can harm you. Many chronic injuries are merely acute injuries recurring over and over.

  • Step 3 – Use Electrotherapy, preferably Interferential therapy, with moist heat if possible.
  • The 3rd step is if possible use a portable interferential pain machine in conjunction with the moist heat packs or if interferential is not available then use a standard TENS unit. This will be significant because moist heat provides carryover pain relief until the area treated loses the heat. After the thermal heat effects are lost, the pain often returns. The interferential treatment is known as the therapy of choice for extending the residual or carryover pain relief time period, however TENS, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulators, can be worn continuously minimizing pain. This is important because if the carryover period is extended the muscles can be rehabilitated sooner, the pain upon stretching and doing the rehab. is minimized, and full range of motion is restored.

    The exact steps outlined above should help the whiplash patient experience less pain, gain mobility quicker, and tissue repair conclude sooner. Just stick to the steps in order, for the reasons as explained, while carefully avoiding the traps, problems and potential mistakes mentioned. Then pat yourself on the back and enjoy the benefits and rewards of having lost the pain, restored the function and lessened the rehabilitation time.

    Sciatic Nerve Pain

    14 February, 2010 (18:51) | Pain management | By: Health news

    As a chiropractor here in Plano, Texas, I often have patients who come in for treatment because of lower back pain, and some find that it’s the sciatic nerve that’s giving them the pain. Sciatica is commonly seen as a pain of the lower back which runs down from the back into the leg. This pain can be sharp, tingling and cause numbness of the lower back and leg. As part of my chiropractic care, I prescribe non-surgical methods to bring relief to my patients.

    The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest single nerve in your body. It branches off at the base of the spine and runs down each side of your pelvic area, supplying nerve impulses to your butt, legs and feet. If you’ve ever experienced sciatica, you know how debilitating this pain can be. I’ve seen patients, who could barely walk, couldn’t bend over, or even stand. There are a lot of things that can trigger problems with your sciatic nerve, poor posture when you sit, slip and fall on your butt, improper swing while playing golf, and the list goes on. For most of my patients, I recommend, certain exercise, lots of rest, and certain pain medication, while they recuperate. Usually you will be back to your normal self within 2-3 weeks. However, if your pain is still severe and continues beyond 2 months, it might be necessary to consider surgery as a last resolve. In this article I will focus on alternative methods to treat this condition and leave the surgery to those more qual

    Chiropractic Treatments and Alternatives at Home

    I immediately recommend heat packs and ice packs. Both can be used independently or combined at various intervals. If you do not have access to over the counter packs, please use ice in a Ziploc bag and heated towels or a heating pad. Both should be applied for 20 to 30 minutes and then repeated every 2-3 hours. This should bring relief until the patient can get in to my office.

    Along with heat and ice, I suggest that you use Tylenol, Advil, ibuprofen, or naproxen to help reduce the pain. Another consideration if the pain is very acute is the use epidural steroid injections. These injections are different from the oral steroid medicines because the steroid is given directly to the injured area and should bring immediate relief from the pain, much quicker than meds or oral steroids. This must be administered by a qualified medical specialist, I do not provide this service but can recommend other medical professionals who do.

    Alternative Chiropractic Treatment at my Office

    Chiropractors sometimes suggest the need for exercise. This might sound counter productive, but very mild exercise along with the other treatments listed above, can help strengthen muscles of the lower back and your stomach muscles. To qualify the type of exercise I recommend, I prescribe simple stretching starting slowly and gradually increasing as you recover and also to prevent future recurrences of sciatica or other back pain. The equipment I’ve installed at my office is very effective in helping with the pain and if utilized correctly, will contribute to end of sciatic pain.

    Other techniques for pain relief are spinal decompression, cold laser therapy, heat and cold applied with gentle massage therapy. I have patients who I see in my office that usually need a combination of the above techniques to resolve their sciatic pain. We use various forms of massage and cold laser to relax patient’s muscles, improve blood flow, and most important, the release of endorphins in the body that act as natural pain relievers.

    Last but not least, a highly effective technique for treatment that is being used more and more is acupuncture. Most people think of being a human pin cushion and even though the origins of this technique were developed by the Chinese, it is an approved procedure for back pain by the FDA. A qualified and trained acupuncturist can provide relief from back pain by simply using thin needles inserted in the area where you feel discomfort. Acupuncture focuses on the applied principle of harmonizing your body’s flow of energy through various pathways in the body. There is no guarantee that this or any other combination of treatments will totally eliminate sciatica from recurring but if you follow the advice of your chiropractor and seek help early, you should prevent this from happening again in the future.

    Joint Pain Relief Medications

    13 December, 2009 (12:12) | Pain management | By: Health news

    Joint pain is so excruciating that people who have experienced it even just once cringe at the thought of its recurrence. There are many ways to relieve joint pains. However, each joint pain relief is dependent on what causes the pain. Could it be brought about by arthritis, injury, or gout?

    Whichever the cause is, one of the most common treatments to is drug treatment. However, you must bear in mind that if you are experiencing pains due osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, no drugs can actually cure you for good. The drugs only help to reduce the joint pain and improve your mobility. It restricts your functional impairment and it enables you to go on with your routine as normally as possible. But, this does not mean your arthritis is gone forever.

    Here are some of the most common drugs used to relieve joint pains:

    • NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) – These are drugs that give fast relief to pain. They are generally considered safe. Some of these are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and piroxicam.

    • COX 2 inhibitors – COX-2 inhibitors are NSAIDs that selectively block the COX-2 enzyme. When COX 2 enzyme is blocked, the production of chemical messengers (called prostaglandins) is prevented. This prevention relieves the pain and the swelling of the arthritis. COX-2 inhibitors are a relatively newer type of anti-inflammatory drugs and they are growing in popularity.

    • Steroids – Steroids may be occasionally required as a joint pain relief. This may be given orally in low doses or injected into the painful joint. Steroids are given for rapid pain relief, inflammation, and swelling around the affected areas. They are prescribed by doctors and should be taken only under close supervision. Abuse of these substances may cause more alarming problems in the future.

    • Gout Medications – Some joint pains may be caused by a chronic ailment called gout. It is a painful inflammation of the joints in the hands and feet especially in the great toe due to the excess of uric acid in the body. If your joint pain is caused by this condition, gout medications may be used to alleviate the pain. Probenecid, for instance, is a traditional choice when it comes to promoting uric acid excretion. However, this medication is not advised to patients with a kidney problem because it predisposes a him or her to kidney stones. Another medication for gout is Allopurinol. This one works by reducing the production of uric acid.

    • Dietary Supplements – Although they do not really fall under the category of medication since they do not have approved therapeutic claims, a lot of people take them to manage certain painful joint conditions. For example, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are taken by osteoarthritis patients. These supplements are said to replenish depleted connective tissues that cushion the bones. Other supplements that work the same way are niacinamide and S-adenosylmethionine. Ginger and turmeric are also known herbs to act as effectively as the supplements mentioned. They are highky recommended for joint pain relief.

    Genital Herpes Pain Relief

    27 November, 2009 (18:59) | Diseases, Pain management | By: Health news

    Genital herpes outbreaks are never fun, never come at a convenient time, and aside from the nasty rash and lesions, they are often accompanied itching and swelling, and in many cases, quite a bit of pain. While many treatments and remedies focus on healing lesions and speeding up recovery time, not many deal with the pain of an outbreak. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few methods you can try at home with easily available ingredients, that are tried and true tested genital herpes pain relief treatments.

    Over the Counter PainkillersSometimes a simple over the counter painkiller can be enough to reduce the pain of a herpes outbreak. I recommend Ibuprofen, it has worked the best for me in the past and reduces inflammation too. In my experience aspirin and paracetamol haven’t helped much. A local anaesthetic can also work wonders, but get a spray on variety rather than a cream, the spray contains alcohol which will evaporate, while a cream will contain a greasy solution that might gunk up your sores and make healing take longer.

    Salt – Washing lesions in a mixture of warm water and Epsom salts can be very soothing and help relieve pain. You can also try sea salt (don’t use table salt), or try a bath of the same mixture, although you’ll need to use a lot of salt, around 2-3 cups for a bath.

    IceApply an icepack wrapped in a thin cloth or towel for ten minutes, then take it off for five minutes, then apply for another ten minutes. This is a surprisingly effective pain reliever.

    Achieve back pain relief without surgery

    13 November, 2009 (13:17) | Back Pain, Pain management | By: Health news

    Suppose you have just had an MRI scan and you’re waiting for the results. Chances are that your doctor has a report in his hand that states that you have a bulging spine or a herniated disc. In fact, in the past, it was only the over 60’s age group that was prone to such problems. These days, even those over 25 develop serious back and neck pain problems.

    It has been noted that more than 90% of people find back pain relief within a couple of months of their symptoms. However, if back pain does not go away in the first couple of months, then, chances of it going away permanently are very slim indeed. According to a survey by Liberty Mutual, the longer a person absents themselves from work due to back pain, the lesser their chances of returning to work with a fully functional back. To make matters worse, research also indicates that once a person falls into the abyss of back pain, they may soon develop other health problems. Approximately 75% of chronic back pain sufferers reportedly suffer from multiple health problems.

    Unfortunately, a good majority of people consider surgery to be their best shot at back pain relief. What most people do not know is that surgery is always the last option, never the first. In fact, most people who suffer from persistent back pain can get back pain relief through non-surgical means. However, for this to work, it is important that patients start working on their back musculature at the earliest possible time.

    Many people are prone to back pain due to the very nature of their work. In fact, it can safely be said that if you are over 30 and working, your back is a sitting duck! By that definition, almost 90% of the world population is at risk. Surveys show that many people are indeed struggling with chronic back problems and are desperately seeing back pain relief.

    The first step is to ensure that your back is always well supported. Sit, stand or lie down in a position that allows your back to be in its natural and most comfortable state of being. Anything that places continuous stress or strain on the back is guaranteed to cause pain and irritation.

    The next step is to strengthen your back so that it becomes more flexible. Bear in mind that most kinds of back pains result from muscular strains. Regular back strengthening exercises are a surefire way of achieving back pain relief. That said, it must be remembered that exercises help only if they are practiced regularly, if the exercises are performed right and if they are performed over a long period of time.

    If back pain problems have reached a level where they interfere with normal activities, then, it is recommended that you meet a doctor and explore the possibilities of a surgical procedure to achieve back pain relief. Research shows than in 10-15% of people, surgery is the only route to permanent back pain relief.