Pain Management

Does Dystonia Respond to Baclofen?

Scientists continue to unravel the mystery of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a condition that develops after surgery or some other type of trauma. The patient develops exquisite pain and/or tenderness usually of one extremity (arm or leg). Symptoms of sweating, hair growth, swelling, and changes in skin color and temperature develop in that extremity. Changes in nail growth and nail strength are also common symptoms of CRPS.




My husband banged his thumb in the car door and ended up with a terrible condition called CRPS. We can't figure out why this has happened. It wasn't nearly as bad as some of the past injuries he's had. Can you shed any light?

Sometimes after trauma (even minor trauma) to human tissue, a chronic pain condition develops. Once called i>reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), this syndrome is now referred to as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).




Scientists Find New Link in Solving the Puzzle of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Sometimes after trauma (even minor trauma) to human tissue, a chronic pain condition develops. Once called i>reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), this syndrome is now referred to as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).




My mother is in agony after many years of severe back pain but the doctors just won't give her strong enough medications. They're afraid she'll become addicted, she says. Why is it so hard to get proper pain medications?

Treating chronic, long-term pain isn't easy. It's not like a toothache or broken bone, where you can pinpoint the pain and relieve it. Chronic pain is usually not as defined.




What's the difference between getting used to a drug and becoming addicted to it?

It's important for healthcare professionals to be able to tell the difference between a patient who has gotten used to their medications and those who have become addicted.

If you take a medication for pain, after a while, your body may become used to the medication in your body and eventually it will need a stronger dose to relieve the pain. If you don't take the medication, you feel more pain and discomfort, but you only feel the physical reaction to not having the medication.




Craving Could Indicate Potential Opioid Medication Misuse

Managing chronic pain can be quite difficult - to find the right combination of treatment and medications takes a lot of trial and error for many patients. One treatment that is becoming more common is using opioids (controlled drugs, narcotics) to try to lessen the pain. This means more people than ever have access to these medications and increases the potential of abuse.




My orthopedic surgeon has suggested trying using a radiofrequency probe to stop pain messages from the nerve to the brain at my L34 spinal joint. She says it will reduce the pain considerably. Is that all it does, really? I can live with the back pain if I just keep moving.

Radiofrequency denervation is a minimally invasive procedure aimed at cutting the nerve to the facet (spinal) joint that's generating the pain signals. High heat delivered with a special probe (electrode) is used to burn through the nerve, cutting off sensory (pain) signals to the brain.




Radiofrequency Denervation for Low Back Pain is Safe and Effective in Select Patients

Surgeons commonly use radiofrequency (heat) energy to cut small sensory nerves around the facet (spinal) joints that are causing patients' low back pain. The procedure is called a radiofrequency denervation (RFD). The evidence for RFD as a safe and cost-effective treatment method is a bit sketchy. Some say it works well. Others show little or no benefit over sham (pretend) treatment.




New Approach to Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Medical treatment for sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain has been less than successful. Doctors have tried injecting the joint with a numbing agent and even fusing the joint in severe cases. A new treatment under investigation may change that. New water-cooled radiofrequency technology has been shown very effective in preliminary studies.




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