What can you tell me about the drug Oxymorphone? My doctor thinks it might help me with the chronic back pain I'm having. I've tried other narcotics without much success. Why should this work any better?Posted May 24th, 2007 by Matt
Oxymorphone is an opioid (narcotic) that has been around since the late 1950s. An extended release form was recently approved for use by the FDA. It is recommended for use by patients with moderate-to-severe pain who need constant, long-term pain control. It works best for muscular or skeletal pain and is not as effective with nerve pain.
I've been having an ongoing problem with back and leg pain. The surgeon who is treating me says I have both spinal stenosis and lumbar radiculopathy. I've had a couple of steroid injections that helped for a while. Is it safe to keep having these every time the pain comes back?Posted May 24th, 2007 by Matt
As you have experienced, epidural spinal injections (ESIs) can reduce your pain. The steroid used in the injection cortisone is an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory drug.
When injected around an inflamed and swollen nerve, it can reduce the inflammation and swelling, which in turn, reduces pain. Reducing swelling can allow the nerves to function better, which then decreases the numbness and weakness that some patients have with this condition.
Studies are being conducted on whether counseling can help people manage their chronic pain. A recent study reviewed previously done trials that investigated people with arthritis and how psychosocial interventions helped or didn't help them cope.
When I was experiencing a lot of back pain, my doctor wanted to put me on antidepressants. I refused because I wasn't depressed, I was in pain. Why would he suggest that I take that kind of medication?Posted May 24th, 2007 by Matt
It's understandable that you could be confused about why an antidepressant medication would be prescribed to treat pain, but it's not an unusual treatment for chronic pain, especially if it's nerve pain. Some antidepressants have an analgesic or pain killing effect. Some of these medications are amitriptaline, imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), desipramine (Norpramine), venlefaxine (Effexor), and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
More Consistent and Regulated Studies Needed to Determine the Role of Psychosocial Factors on Chronic PainPosted May 24th, 2007 by Matt
A lot has been written about psychosocial factors and their effect on chronic pain. Few studies have defined the factors that are important and at what level. In fact, studies that have taken place have looked at different factors in different situations, resulting in little consistency in the findings and trial outcomes.
Many people in the United States are living with chronic pain. The cause can range from injury to bone and joint diseases to cancer. When all other treatment fails, some doctors turn to opioid therapy to help their patients.
Doctors don't yet know a lot about CRPS and there are no tests for it, so the diagnosis is made by listening to your history and complaints, and by watching for signs and symptoms. Since there isn't a cure for the disorder, doctors concentrate on helping to ease the symptoms. The treatment will depend on what stage you are in and how you have responded to therapy.
My sister told me that she has CRPS Type 1, but I've heard that there is another type. What are the symptoms and what is the difference?Posted May 17th, 2007 by Matt
There are two types of CRPS, complex regional pain syndrome. Type I is most often triggered after someone has broken or sprained a bone or joint. The tissue injury seems to bring it on. Type II has injured a nerve, rather than body tissue.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)-Type I is not yet well understood by the medical community. In fact, there are some who feel that it is not a neuropathic disorder at all, while others feel that it may be more common than thought. Regardless of the incidence, it's important that doctors recognize it as early as possible in order for the affected patients to receive proper treatment.
Narrowing of the spinal canal is called spinal stenosis. This condition is common in older adults. It causes back and leg pain and difficulty walking. Treatment begins with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), change in activity, and physical therapy.