All posts related to "pain"

Virtual reality as pain management for workplace injuries

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Samsung, Travelers Insurance, Bayer and AppliedVR have teamed up in a new 16-month study to evaluate virtual reality (VR) for pain reduction and therapeutic purposes. The belief is that VR can potentially be a drug-free tool for pain management. Similar VR studies are happening in Canada. Earlier this year, researchers from Simon Fraser University’s Pain Studies Lab recruited people with and without arthritis to play their VR game. Their goal is to understand how VR can be used as a tool for enhancing physical activity, which can help reduce pain.

Image of a man wearing virtual reality VR glasses

 

According to Dr. Brennan Spiegel, director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai, the study will use technology from Samsung, Bayer and AppliedVR as a supplement to manage pain in patients with acute orthopaedic injuries of the lower back and extremities. The study will be funded by Travelers and Samsung. Dr. Spiegel added: “We need to find ways to stem the tide without relying entirely on medicines. Health technology, like virtual reality, has tremendous potential to improve outcomes while saving costs, which is why we’re so excited about this collaboration among academia and industry.”

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Call for patient input on tapentadol hydrochloride (Nucynta) for the management of severe pain

stick man with megaphone for patient inputDo you have severe pain? We need your valuable input. 

The Common Drug Review (CDR) is currently welcoming patients and their caregivers to provide input to patient organizations on the manufacturer’s submission for tapentadol hydrochloride (Nucynta) for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, continuous, long-term opioid treatment, and:

  • that is opioid-responsive; and
  • for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.

The CDR is part of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). The CDR conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of drugs, and provides formulary listing recommendations to the publicly funded drug plans in Canada (except Quebec).

To help them make their recommendations, the CDR accepts input from patient organizations and groups, like Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE). Because patient input is vitally important to government decision-making about medications, we would like to gather your views and share them with the CDR.

These are the questions they are asking: Continue reading

Study participants needed to evaluate an online pain self-management program

The University of Regina is looking for participants to evaluate an online pain self-management program, completed with Do-It-Yourself Guides, Stories and Additional Resources. 

The University of Regina is seeking seniors to enroll in a research study to evaluate a pain self-management program for older adults(www.onlinetherapyuser.ca/olderadults). This program is only offered in English.

Picture of a computer for online programThe research study is led by Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Ph.D., Professor and Research Chair in Aging and Health, University of Regina. The purpose of this study is to explore the acceptability and effectiveness of a remotely-delivered chronic pain management program tailored to older adults, the Pain Course, when delivered in both online and printed (workbook) formats.

This program requires a 3-month commitment, as participants will have 2 months to work through the course material with a 4-week follow-up period.

Recruitment will take place across Canada and participants will be eligible for the study if they:

  1. are a resident of Canada
  2. are 65 years of age or older
  3. have experienced pain for more than three months
  4. do not have severe depression or anxiety
  5. have regular access to a computer and the internet

Potential participants will be required to complete a preliminary screening and telephone assessment. If participants meet the inclusion criteria, they will be required to complete questionnaires at pre-treatment, post-treatment and 4-week follow-up.

The course includes 5 Core Lessons over a 2-month period, along with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Guides, Stories and Additional Resources that will be available throughout this period.

If you are interested in joining the chronic pain self-management program for older adults, please follow the link below to complete the preliminary screening: http://uregina.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ePPMuUKJBXM5jtr

The deadline for potential participants to sign up is Wednesday, April 4th. If you want to learn more about the study, please email Ainsley, the primary researcher, at aam549@uregina.ca.

Working with your physiotherapist to treat your arthritis pain and symptoms

Physiotherapist helping patient with arthritis

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Working with your physiotherapist to treat your arthritis pain and symptoms

Physiotherapy is often part of a well-balanced treatment plan for many of the more than 100 types of arthritis. It focuses on maintaining, restoring or improving physical function as well as preventing and managing pain, through the use of non-medication treatments.

When choosing a physiotherapist, it is important to look for someone who has experience treating your type of arthritis, if possible. As well, it is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist, and that you relate well on a personal level.

A physiotherapist will examine your body, and assess things like joint range-of-motion, muscle strength, and swelling or instability in affected joints. A physiotherapist will also likely look at any diagnostic imaging-like x-rays-that you have had done, as well as results from any laboratory testing-for example, blood tests or joint aspirations. Finally, the therapist will want to hear from you about your symptoms, mobility, and changes in your body. Then, using the assessment above, the physiotherapist develops a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to the client’s needs. Some of the treatments used by physiotherapists include:
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Raynaud’s may be more common in women of childbearing age

Findings from a recent study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology may explain why Raynaud’s is more common in women of childbearing age. The study examined the relationship between palm blood flow and estrogen in mice. According to researchers, “estrogen may contribute to the development of Raynaud’s phenomenon in women”.

About estrogen

Estrogen is a one of two main sex hormones that women have. It is responsible for female physical features and reproduction. Estrogen creates the changes common in puberty, such as growth of the breasts, hair in the pubic area and under the arms and the beginning of menstruation. The hormone helps control the menstrual cycle, protect bone health and keep cholesterol in control. Below is a helpful infographic Hormone Health Network to help you understand what estrogen is.

Infographic on estrogen, mentioned in this article about Raynaud's

About Raynaud’s phenomenon Continue reading

Survival tips for the holidays

Picture of an ornament hanging from a treeJoy and love are bountiful throughout the holidays. For people living with arthritis, so is physical and mental stress and pain. Here are some survival tips for the holidays:

  1. Make a list. A list will help keep you on budget and alleviate the stress of not knowing what to buy for presents or food.
  2. Shop online. Shopping online helps you avoid the crowds. It is convenient and you can do it day or night, in comfortable clothes, without the need to find parking.
  3. If you must shop at a mall, shop during non-peak hours (during the day or early morning). Continue reading

Kids on the Block puppets talk juvenile arthritis in Vernon

A picture of puppets Leslie, a puppet with juvenile arthritis, and JenniferJuvenile arthritis strikes up to three in 1000 children in B.C. and is one of the most common chronic diseases among children. Cassie and Friends’ Kids on the Block, an educational puppet troupe, is spreading awareness about juvenile arthritis at elementary schools like the one Sarika Adriaanse attends in Vernon. The aim is to help children understand arthritis. With the aid of a $2,500 grant from Telus’ Community Board, the performance will visit several other interior school boards.

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Indigenous children expresses pain through art

The Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative wanted to answer one simple question: What does pain look like? Not what it feels like, but what pain would look it if you had to express it on paper, or in this case, canvas.

In an interview with CBC News, John Sylliboy, community research co-ordinator with the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative, said: “Aboriginal children feel and experience pain just like anyone else. It’s just that they express their pain very differently. They don’t necessarily verbalize their pain, or they don’t express it outwardly through crying or through pain grimaces. A lot of kids, they just suck it up. That’s what they say all the time. ‘We just suck it up.'”

The research study spawned in 2008 when Margot Latimer, a clinical scientist at the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, observed there was no First Nations youth being referred to their pain clinic at the IWK hospital.

One of the paintings from the children

“My painting is about pain and the black represents how she feels inside. But she has like this white kind of atmosphere and it separates it from her pain.” – Artist, 16-year-old
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/aboriginal-youth-art-pain-hurt-healing-1.3852646?cmp=rss

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Today’s weather: Cloudy with a Chance of Pain

Today’s weather: Cloudy with a Chance of Pain 

Cloudy with a chance of Pain Logo

In the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Flint Lockwood invented a machine to convert water into food and becomes a local hero in his economically unstable town when food fall from the sky like rain. Like Flint’s intention to solve the town’s crisis, British researchers are now hoping to solve the ancient theory that there is an association between pain and weather.

In 400 B.C., the Greek philosopher Hippocrates noted that changes in the weather can affect pain levels. Throughout history, popular culture adapted the belief and coined terms such as “feeling under the weather”. People claimed to be able to forecast storms and rain because they “can feel it in their bones”. In a study report titled “Pain complaint and the weather: weather sensitivity and symptom complaints in chronic pain patients“, author Shutty MS Jr. recalls a Journal of the American Medical Association publication in 1929 that said there was strong evidence that “warm weather is beneficial and barometric pressure changes are detrimental to patients with arthritis.” Continue reading

“It hurts!” cried the little kid with arthritis

Kid on grass crawling with a puzzled lookThe question is, how badly does it hurt?

A recent study conducted to evaluate pain measures developed by the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) under the National Institutes of Health help captured the young patient’s perspective of living with chronic pain. The study addressed the different categories of pain experience and language used by children when they talk about chronic pain. In an interview with the Medical Xpress, researchers identified these as:

  • Pain behaviour – The child initiates he or she becomes irritable or suffers a lack of appetite (or other behaviour) when in pain.
  • Pain interference – The child describes slower movement, such as walking, or lack of energy due to pain interference.
  • Pain quality – The child describes pain as sharp, cutting, dull or achy.

The research study was based on the results of individual and focus group interviews with 32 children and with parents of children with chronic pain, such as those affected by juvenile arthritis, sickle cell anemia, and cerebral palsy. Continue reading