Pain medications and treatment options
Medications and many treatment options are effective at managing, relieving and sometimes even curing pain.
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David Lemaster was overdue for a little good fortune. That came last February in the form of a newly FDA-approved implant. Duke University neurosurgeon Nandan Lad, MD, PhD, implanted the Nevro paddle HF10 near Lemaster’s spine, making him one of the first two patients in North Carolina to receive the device. More importantly, the procedure made Lemaster virtually pain free for the first time in eight years. Read his story and how this implant changed Lemaster's life.
DRG is a neurostimulation therapy that treats difficult-to-manage chronic pain isolated in a specific region of the lower body. A small device, implanted in a physician’s office, delivers electrical impulses to the dorsal root ganglia, and patients have the ability to adjust the strength of the stimulation. Tony Lawless found relief immediately. Read more of his story in this article from our Fall edition.
The idea of seeing a psychologist of any kind had never crossed your mind. After all, you are struggling with back pain…not a mental issue. But what your physician suggested is not really that unusual – and many pain sufferers have found working with a pain psychologist an extremely beneficial part of getting through a treatment protocol (as well as just living with a chronic pain condition). Learn more in our latest online-only article on pain psychologists.
Is radiofrequency ablation or RFA right for you? By using radio waves to create localized electrical current the technique makes a focused heat to target desired nerves. Interrupting the pain signal within the nerves can help to reduce chronic pain symptoms associated with various conditions. A physician in this field shares his thoughts on how well it works and who it works for.
Politicians, pharmaceutical companies, physicians, patients, attorneys, law enforcement and the common citizen have all weighed in on the public health emergency we know as the opioid crisis. Yet one demographic with significant input into this issue has received little or no mention in the discourse of chronic pain patients and opioids: the 65 million and growing population of family caregivers. Learn how to navigate opioids if you are a caregiver from an actual caregiver.
Preventing the diversion of medications, especially powerful drugs like opioids, requires vigilant storage and disposal by the patients who use them. Safe disposal and storage may seem insignificant, but they can help reduce abuse and accidental poisonings.And, in an era where many people with pain feel that opioid prescribing reforms have gone too far, it’s a proactive step that doesn’t involve limiting access to pain management.
Don’t be surprised if the next time you see your pain doctor they suggest you go to an acupuncturist. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a recommendation that doctors get up to speed on complementary alternative therapies for treating pain including acupuncture and chiropractic treatment. Read what our wellness blogger, Dr. Abaci has to say about acupuncture and its success in treating pain. Only online at painpathways.org!
Wouldn’t it be great if neurostimulator companies would develop a device to provide pain relief for the extremities…without large battery packs and with an ergonomic-friendly design? If this is the type of nerve stimulator you’ve been waiting for, the wait is over. Within the last five to six years, there has been a big push to develop specific stimulator devices for the periphery or extremities of the body. Learn more about them and how to get one for yourself.
“I tend to be the guy who sees people after they’ve been to a few other doctors,” says the anesthesiologist and chief medical officer of both National Spine and Pain Centers and Electrocore Medical. “It’s been that way my whole career. Patients come to me because easier therapies others have tried didn’t work or sometimes because no one has taken the time to figure out the source of their pain.” Read more about Dr. Staats and his different approach.
One day, nearly a year after his accident, he came across a Facebook post about a clinical trial for those suffering from phantom limb pain. Curious, he filled out the application and was accepted into the trial. Thankfully, he went on to experience significant pain relief as a result. Read how this device is helping those with phantom limb pain get significant relief from their pain.
Here’s the main difference in dry needling vs acupuncture: your physician must know exactly what’s wrong with you to recommend and perform dry needling. You must have a diagnosis of something to know if it’s going to be right for you. Patients undiagnosed pain, Dr. Coords says—pain that still isn’t diagnosed even after it’s been treated, perhaps successfully. Learn everything you need to know about dry needling and if it could help your chronic pain.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS)—used most commonly to treat advanced Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor but also for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), dystonia, pain and, recently, depression—is brain surgery performed while the patient is awake. And it begins with a hole drilled into the patient’s skull.But it’s a lot less terrifying than it sounds. Learn more about this approach and see if it could be right for you. ~ From our Summer 2017 print edition, now online.
Aside from getting rid of your chronic pain – which is the obvious answer – is there anything you can do to improve your energy? Many think so and have experienced an improvement in their energy levels by making some lifestyle changes. We’ve compiled a list from all the resources we could track down, and hope that you find some modifications that could have a positive impact on your energy level.
Why is Asking for Help so Difficult? - Rheumatoid Recovery Asking for help from others or even deciding to access services can be a real challenge. How do you ask without guilt or awkwardness? Here are some tips on asking clearly with confidence.
Researchers don’t know exactly how virtual reality impacts pain...but evidence suggests that it DOES. While in its early days, Dr. Gromala, leading VR researcher, thinks VR is really promising as ONE way for people who suffer from chronic pain to manage their pain. Learn more about what she and her team are doing to make VR available for both acute and chronic pain sufferers.
Prince, who died in April at age 57, sang openly about emotional anguish—and about sex, religion, race, and nearly every other challenging topic. But despite that openness in his music, Prince kept his own excruciating pain private. His death from an accidental fentanyl overdose devastated millions of fans. Full story online. #opioids #chronicpain #painmeds