Is there a way to reverse the process of degeneration of the disk in the spine? A thin disk can become thick? Or at least, is there a theory about this matter?
All patients with chronic physical pain are not alike and shouldn't be treated the same. That's the basis of this article on somatoform disorders. Somatoform disorders refer to aches and pains that are amplified (blown out of proportion) because of underlying psychologic or emotional distress. Vague complaints of muscle or joint pain, fatigue, stomach problems, numbness and tingling, headaches, and so on are typical physical complaints associated with somatoform disorders.
I am a chronic back pain sufferer as a result of a simple surgery I had done four years ago. I keep watching the news for any miracle cures. So far: nothing. But I did hear a news report that they have shown there is altered brain function in people like me and maybe this will be a breakthrough in research. What sort of help would that bring me?Posted November 25th, 2009 by Matt
Over the past twenty years or so, scientists have been able to take a different research approach to the problem of chronic pain. Using studies like Positron Emission Tomography known as PET scans and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and the more traditional electroencephalgraphy (EEG) has changed how chronic pain is viewed.
My brother has had chronic back pain ever since a garage door fell on his head at a construction site. After trying everything, he has given up and seems deeply depressed. The doctor says he qualifies for disability and that his pain is a disease. What makes pain a disease? What does that mean?Posted November 25th, 2009 by Matt
Pain that occurs after major trauma like the head injury your sustained that lasts indefinitely is labeled chronic. This type of pain has been the focus of neuroimaging studies for the last two decades. Neuroimaging has opened our eyes to the changes in the brain that accompany chronic pain. Changes that affect the anatomy, biochemistry, and neurochemistry of the nervous system.
Pain that lasts beyond the expected time after an injury or pain that seems to develop for no apparent reason continues to baffle scientists and pain specialists around the world. This type of pain labeled chronic has been the focus of neuroimaging studies for the last two decades. Neuroimaging has opened our eyes to the changes in the brain that accompany chronic pain. Changes that affect the anatomy, biochemistry, and neurochemistry of the nervous system.
When my sister was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, her doctor called it something else - reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome. Does it have two names and what are its symptoms?Posted November 19th, 2009 by Matt
Complex regional pain syndrome, usually called CRPS, used to be called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Doctors began using CRPS when they found it was a more accurate way of describing the syndrome.
The symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome include:
- a burning pain in the affected area
- skin sensitivity beyond what you would normally expect
- changes in skin temperature, color, or texture of the affected area, different from the other limb
- shiny or sweaty skin
My cousin has something called CRPS and she says that it affects more women than men. Is this true and if so, why?Posted November 19th, 2009 by Matt
CRPS, complex regional pain syndrome, is a painful disorder that does affect more women than men - more than twice the number. Doctors and researchers don't know why it affects more women, but many illnesses do affect one sex more than another.
Philip M. FInch, Lone Knudsen, and Peter D. Drummond. Reduction of allodynia in patients with complex regional pain syndrome: A double-blinded placebo-controlled trial of topical ketamine. In PAIN. Vol. 146. Pp. 18 to 25.