How cannabinoid drugs affect the experience of pain

A first-of-its-kind meta-analysis of existing research has reviewed the effects of cannabinoid drugs on the experience of pain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that up to 50 million people in the United States have chronic pain.

An increasing amount of people now turn to the medicinal benefits of cannabis for treating and alleviating pain.

As a result, scientists are trying to keep up by studying the effects of cannabinoids on pain.

Full story at Medical News Today

Moderate to Severe Pain Linked With Increased Risk of Opioid Addiction

A new study finds people with moderate to severe pain have a 41 percent higher risk of opioid addiction, compared to those without pain.

Columbia University researchers surveyed more than 34,000 Americans, HealthDay reports. Males and younger adults were at increased risk for opioid abuse, the researchers report in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“In evaluating patients who present with pain, physicians should also be attentive to addiction risk factors such as age, sex and personal or family history of drug abuse,” study senior author Mark Olfson, MD, MPH said in a news release. “If opioids are prescribed, it is important for clinicians to monitor their patients carefully for warning signs of opioid addiction.”

Full story of pain linked to risk of opioid addiction at drugfree.org

Antidepressants show potential for postoperative pain

After a systematic review of clinical trials based on administering antidepressants for acute and chronic postsurgical pain, researchers have concluded that more trials are needed to determine whether these drugs should be prescribed for postsurgical pain on a regular basis.

Dr. Ian Gilron, a professor and director of clinical pain research in the Department of Anesthesiology, and his team of seven researchers reviewed 15 trials to determine whether the use of antidepressants for pain relief post-surgery would work more effectively than painkillers such as opioids, local anesthetics, or acetaminophen.

Clinical trials are often used to answer questions about the efficacy of the off-label uses of drugs. In the case of antidepressants, their effects on postsurgical pain continue to be an area of research interest.

Full story of antidepressants and pain at Science Daily

A migraine may change your brain

Some 37 million Americans suffer from migraines, those incredibly painful and often debilitating headaches. While they’ve been known to knock a person out, migraines weren’t thought to permanently affect the brain – until now.  A new study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology suggests migraines may indeed leave a mark.

“Our review and meta-analysis study suggests that the disorder may permanently alter brain structure in multiple ways,” said study author Dr. Messoud Ashina, a neurologist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Background

A migraine is a common type of headache where throbbing pain is typically felt on just one side of the head.  Sufferers experience sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting. Women are three times more likely to be affected by migraines than men.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraines cost the United States more than $20 billion a year in both direct medical expenses like doctor visits and medication and indirectly when employees miss work resulting in lost productivity.

About 20% of migraine sufferers experience an aura – a warning symptom 20 minutes to an hour before a migraine begins. It’s usually in the form of visual disturbances like wavy lines, dots or flashing lights, tingling in the face or arms, even difficulty speaking.

Full story of migraines affecting the brain at CNN

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Back pain? 7 ways to strengthen your spine

Slouching may be fashionable for some red carpet regulars, but it’s one of several reasons why about 80% of us will have spinal problems in our lifetime.

And yet, most of us can cure or even avoid back pain and surgery by taking a few daily preventive steps. Spinal problems can start as early as age 29, so it’s never too early or too late to start.

People tend to forget the spine is part of the central nervous system, along with the brain, and relies on the peripheral nervous system: the millions of nerves that send messages to the brain that control the body’s functions. An unhealthy spine interferes with this entire system, causing a host of unwelcome health issues such as pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and legs, impaired breathing and digestion and impaired control of the bowel and bladder.

Here are a few tips to help you take better care of your spine and back:

Full story of back strengthen tips at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education