Research suggests cause, source of phantom pain | Risk of musculoskeletal pain higher in teens with hypermobile joints | Study links fibromyalgia pain to faulty brain receptors
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March 6, 2013
News for the pain professional

Pain Research News
Research suggests cause, source of phantom pain
Many people who lose a limb suffer phantom pain that may be due to the brain's continued representations of the body part, Oxford University researchers say. A study in the journal Nature Communications found that people with phantom hand pain had brain activity patterns that could not be distinguished from those of people with two hands, and the pain itself was traced to the sensorimotor cortex, which deals with motion and touch. NBC News (3/5)
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Risk of musculoskeletal pain higher in teens with hypermobile joints
Double-jointed teens had a nearly twofold greater risk of suffering from musculoskeletal pain in their shoulders, knees, ankles and feet in adulthood than those without hypermobile joints, a case-control study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism showed. The most frequently reported pain experienced by teens with hypermobility in their joints was lower back pain, researchers reported. Family Practice News (3/4)
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Study links fibromyalgia pain to faulty brain receptors
The brain's ability to process pain stimuli may malfunction in patients with fibromyalgia, according to a University of Michigan study that zeroed in on opioid receptors. Lead researcher Richard Harris said fibromyalgia patients may have too few receptors or the receptors they have cause pain when activated rather than lessen it. Pain Medicine News (3/2013)
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Other News
Treatment News
Study: Self-medication system leads to less post-op pain
Patients who used the NanoTab system to give themselves doses of sublingual sufentanil reported less pain two days after abdominal surgery than patients in a control group. About half of patients in the placebo group completed the trial, compared with 70% in the treatment group. MedPage Today (free registration) (3/6)
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Injections for back pain do not help in small study
Steroid injections for back pain may do more harm than good, according to study in the journal Spine that found patients who got the shots did not see significant improvements in pain severity compared with those who did not get the treatments. Researchers from the Rothman Institute followed 69 patients who had injections and 207 who did not get injections. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Well blog (3/5)
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Other News
Policy & Trends
Cleveland Clinic practitioners are divided over opioid restrictions
Some physicians at the Cleveland Clinic support FDA efforts to restrict opioid drug prescriptions while others are concerned the plan could harm patients who need long-term pain relief. Supporters of restrictive prescribing say misperceptions among clinicians lead to doses that are too high, but registered nurse and pain researcher Esther Bernhofer says proposed limits could "backfire and only harm the people who really need professional help." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (3/3)
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Ky. law makes it easier for some patients to get pain drugs
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law a measure to make it easier for patients with terminal illnesses, along with those in hospitals and nursing homes, to get needed pain medication. Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican, called the measure "a common-sense approach" to ensure there is no diversion of prescription pain drugs or drug abuse while providing pain relief. WDRB-TV/WMYO-TV (Louisville, Ky.) (3/5)
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APS News
Annual Scientific Meeting: New preconference symposium
The Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Roles in Chronic Pain Management & Research will be take place prior to the American Pain Society’s 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting on Wednesday, May 8. This full-day symposium will discuss both Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) approaches for the treatment of various pain conditions, as well as the application of advances in pain research (both clinical and basic) to improve the understanding of mechanisms underlying various CAM approaches. Advance registration is required. Learn more.
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Continuing education course: Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies for Analgesic Opioids
The American Pain Society and the Collaborative for REMS Education (CO*RE) will present a 3-hour session on Saturday, May 11 in New Orleans at APS' 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting. This REMS course will provide prescribers with the education needed to effectively assess the pain patient, develop a treatment plan, assess for risk of opioid abuse, and plan for ongoing assessment of the patient. The REMS session is offered as a separate, no-cost session within the 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting. Learn more.
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Editor's Note
Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want."
-- Anna Lappé,
American writer, speaker and activist
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