A recent study that was published in JAMA states information that acupuncture does not provide significant pain relief from chronic knee pain or improvement in knee function. The said study also made it clear that neither of the two kinds of acupuncture, traditional needle nor modern laser form, help in relieving knee pain among those who are experiencing it.
Acupunctures are often patronized by many because it is believed that the needles stimulate nerves under the skin, producing pain-relieving endorphins. It is also believed that the treatment can also be offered in a non-penetrative form, where low-intensity lasers are applied to acupuncture points. These help people who have fear in needles but still want to do acupuncture in many ways.
In scientific trials, the outcomes of participants receiving acupuncture are compared with the outcomes of participants receiving “sham acupuncture,” which usually involves the application of retractable, non-penetrating needles to points of the body not used in standard acupuncture.
Despite its increasing popularity as an alternative therapy for those who experience chronic pain, trials have shown that the evidence supporting acupuncture for relieving knee pain is mixed.
A 2006 study of 1,007 patients experiencing knee pain found that although 53 percent of participant receiving acupuncture reported less pain and improved function at 26 weeks, so did 51 percent of the participant receiving sham acupuncture. Also, 29.1% of patients who received no acupuncture in that study reported less pain and better function.
In terms of knee pain and physical function, the researchers found out that there are no significant differences between the different kinds of acupuncture.
They have concluded that in their study, benefits of acupuncture were exclusively attributed to incidental effects, given the lack of significant differences between active acupuncture and sham treatment.
Image by Ortho Spine News
According to a new publication series from the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) called From Policy to Practice explores pain as a public health problem and takes a look at how various policies impact the care provided to patients in a range of practice settings. It also provides readers with an overview of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that address pain research, education, training, and clinical care, as well as the steps take to be able to implement the said provisions.
The inaugural installment that was titled “An Interdisciplinary Look at the Potential of Policy to Improve the Health of an Aging America: Focus on Pain”, aims to ensure that researchers, practitioners, educators, and policy makers are very much aware of the major policy issues at federal, state, and local levels that impact the prevention, assessment, and treatment of pain, as well as the social and practical supports required by older adults experiencing various kinds of pain.
This publication also addresses how the public policy helps to shape responses by medical and long-term care providers to the needs of older people. Those people who contributed in making this happen wishes that the said publication will draw attention to the regulatory and funding constraints and incentives that currently exist in the country and motivate changes to reduce pain among older people in the community, hospitals and nursing homes, especially as they are nearing the end of their lives.
Chronic pain affects about 100 million American adults and costs the nation up to approximately $635 billion each year in medical treatments and lost productivity as of the 2011 Institute of Medicine report.
Image by WordPress
Ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter drug, is often used by many people to relieve pain and fever. What many people do not know is that ibuprofen could also hold the keys to obtaining a longer and healthier life. According to the researchers at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of yeast, worms and fruit flies.
According to the CEO of the Buck Institute, Brian Kennedy, PhD, the treatments made to the samples were similar to what an average dose of ibuprofen a human takes. He stated that not only did all the species live longer, but they also showed a healthier outcome upon treatment with ibuprofen. The research shows that ibuprofen impacts a process not yet implicated in aging, giving us a new way to study and understand the process of aging. He added that the most important thing upon their discovery is that it opens the door for new exploration of so-called “anti-aging medicines” that are being used by many. Ibuprofen is a relatively safe drug that are often found inside people’s medicine cabinets and can also be easily bought in drug stores. These are also commonly used by people who are experiencing pain in their body often such as victims of abuse like Korean comfort women.
The said study served as a proof of principle, to show that common, relatively safe drugs in humans can extend the lifespan of very diverse organisms. The researchers also added that it should be possible to find others like ibuprofen with even better ability to extend lifespan, with the aim of adding health years of life in people.
The extended lifespan in the model organisms of their research can be the equivalent to another dozen or so years of healthy living humans.
Image by Women’s Health Encyclopedia
We all know that in today’s generation, people tend to enjoy playing games virtually. Before, festive entertainment included watching TV and playing board games but now, it is more likely to involve jumping around the living room and dodging lamp shades while engaged in virtual games using the Nintendo Wii. But how sure are we that just because our children and us are inside our homes, does not mean that we are also safe from injuries? What many people might not be aware of is that playing outside may be better than playing inside if long-term chronic pains are more likely to be associated.
Up to date, more than 100 million Wii consoles have been sold all over the world. Thanks to its interactive games such as Wii Sports – in which users can compete against each other in various sports including tennis, boxing and bowling – the console is not only popular with children, but it has also become a family favorite.
On the other hand, the research team of the University of Groningen Medical Centre in the Netherlands, including Dr. Maarten B. Jalink, notes that there have been reports of Nintendo-related injuries and other problems which range from mild to life-threatening.
With this becoming a concern among many parents, the researchers decided to assess whether Nintendo consoles are safe by searching for reports of injuries caused by using the systems.
The researchers have identified 38 reports of Nintendo-related injuries and divided them into two groups. Those groups were injuries that took place prior to the launch of Wii and those that occurred after. Among the injuries that took place before the launch of Wii were cases of Nintendinitis or Nintendonitis – a form of tendinitis in the hand, thumb or wrist that occurs as a result of strenuous gameplay with a traditional controller or joystick.
Since Nintendo cannot actually pull out their Wii consoles due to the arising concern on the said nintendinitis, after receiving more than 90 complains, Nintendo handed out protective gloves to all owners of the game. However, it is still best to limit your children and yourself in playing too much video games which includes stressing out of your muscles, especially your hands.
Image by Merakoh.com
In the year 2012, a study was published in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology, wherein it tells that researchers have discovered a novel obstruction in the pain pathway. They also added that the findings of their research could be used to treat individuals suffering from various kinds of chronic pain.
Pain plays a vital role in protecting our bodies from harm. The body’s skin, bones, deep tissues and viscera contain little receivers called nodiceptors that pick up harmful stimuli, which are then converted into electrical signals that are transmitted to a person’s brain via the spinal cord.
According to the researchers, when these nerves are persistently activated, for instance after an injury or inflammation in a person’s body, the information flow into the spinal cord is significantly amplified, which is also known as ‘synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP’. It was originally found in lower organisms. LTP is a significant biological property that evolution has conserved in human beings.
The said research is led by Rohini Kuner of Heidelberg University in Germany and Ceng Luo of the Fourth Military Medical University in China. These two researchers used genetic, physiological, biochemical, as well as behavioral tools available in mice in order to get a clearer picture of how LTP works in the context of pain signaling.
After examining how LTP works at the synaptic connection between spinal cord neurons and peripheral pain sensors, the team discovered that in order for pain amplification to occur, presynaptic events that unravel in the spinal endings of pain-sensing nerves are needed.
The researchers found that eliminating PKG-1 specifically from the presynaptic neurons in this pathway, destroyed LTP and changed pain-related memory and behavior. Worldwide, chronic pain is a leading cause of poor quality of life. According to recent demographic studies, 1 in every 6 Europeans experience chronic pain.
Image by Eletunk
A new form of treatment called cyroneurolysis, is being used for chronic pain that are caused by damage in the nerves. Cyroneurolysis basically involves using a tiny ball of ice to be able to interrupt pain signals and eliminate pain as the nerves slowly recover.
The study that was presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 38th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, states that nerve freezing could mean possible treatment for people suffering from a condition called neuralagia, characterized by a sharp shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve.
According to William Moor, MD, a medical director of radiology at Stony Brook University of School Medicine in New York said that Cyroneurolysis could have big implications for the millions of people who suffer from neuralgia, which later on could be unbearable and is very difficult to treat. he also added that such procedure offers these patients an innovative treatment option that provides significant lasting pain relief and allows them to take a lower dose of pain medication or even skip or never take those drugs altogether.
The said treatment involves creating a freezer burn on the outer layer of the nerve by cooling a small probe to a temperature of minus 10 to minus 16 degrees Celsius. It eliminates the pain by interrupting the pain signal sent to the brain. The treatment also involves making a small nick in the skin at the source of the pain and placing a probe which is cooled with gas and therefore creating ice crystals along the nerves.
Moore added that the effect is equivalent to removing the insulation from a wire, decreasing the rate of conductivity of the nerve – fewer pain signals means less pain and the nerve remains intact.
Image by So Feminine
We all know have this saying that there is no way of curing pain than laughter – but is it really true? Does it really help? According to a research presented at The European Pain Federation (EFIC) Congress, held in Florence Italy, laughter can actually help those people who suffer from chronic pain.
According to the Swiss researchers team, laughter and humor can increase pain tolerance and improve quality of life. Also, according to Thomas Benz, another specialist in the field of chronic pain, targeted humor interventions should be a part of pain therapy for those people suffering from various kinds of chronic pain.
One of the things that the researchers did was they observed the people laughing at comedy films with their hands kept in ice water. They have later on observed that people who were laughing showed an increased pain tolerance to be present 20 minutes after laughing than those people who were not.
One possible explanation could be that humor activates the release of endorphins and relieves muscular tension, thus having an effect on pain on both a mental and physical level.
According to Willibald Ruch, a professor in Zurich University, humor helps to reflect pain, thus helping both the patients as well as those people who take care of them to deal better with the stress such pains cause. He also added that humor can be used specifically as a cognitive technique, for example in terms of a distraction to control the pain and increase pain tolerance. However, he cautioned that the laughter needs to come from the heart and should not be done forcefully in order to relieve the pain.
Image by Los Angeles Times
Lack of vitamin D among people has been linked to a number of health issues, both to men and women. According to a new study that was presented in a conference run by the British Society for Rheumatology, low levels of vitamin D in the body are linked to chronic widespread pain.
The chronic widespread pain has been a major public health problem in the whole world. It is affecting around 1 in 5 people and it can be caused by rheumatic and neurological disorders.
According to the UK’s statistics, around 50 percent of the adults in UK have a vitamin D deficiency, a condition that has been linked to osteoporosis and increased preeclampsia risk in pregnant women, among other outcomes.
Vitamin D naturally exists in only a few number of foods, including fish-liver oils, fatty fishes, mushrooms, egg yolks, and liver. In the US, however, it is common for them to add vitamin D to food products such as milk.
Vitamin D is not only helpful in promoting food bone health, but it may also help with muscle strength and protection against cancer as well as type 2 diabetes.
According to the study, the researchers observed that those people which lack vitamin D in their body were more than twice as likely to experience chronic widespread pain, compared with those who had the highest levels.
The researchers also observed that after following up with them on an average of 4.3 years, 1 in 15 men who had no symptoms at the start of the study developed chronic widespread pain. The people who were linked to such pain were more likely to be obese, physically inactive, depressed and experience other health conditions.
Image by Arthritis Broadcast Network