Targeting Specific Inflammatory Cells May Offer Enhanced Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Prof. Dr. Halina Machelska
Department of Experimental Anesthesiology
Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Prof. Dr. Halina Machelska
Department of Experimental Anesthesiology
Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Berlin, Germany

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Pathological pain such as pain resulting from nerve injury is often accompanied by inflammation. This is manifested by accumulation of immune cells, including macrophages, in the damaged tissue. Current research mostly emphasizes the role of these cells in the enhancement of pain. One of the suggested strategies in the basic research is to deplete immune cells from the affected tissue. However, several previous preclinical studies, including our own, have shown that this approach did not sufficiently decrease pain. We think that one of the reasons is that not all immune cells invading damaged tissue are detrimental and in fact, some are needed there to counteract pain.

Macrophages are very heterogeneous and they comprise at least two subpopulations, pro-inflammatory M1 and anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. Our idea in this study was to promote the analgesic properties of macrophages. We took advantage of the cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) to switch macrophages from the M1 to the M2 state.

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Chiropractic Care Linked to Lower Use of Opioids for Spinal Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Jim Whedon DC, MS
Director of Health Services Research
SCU Health System
Southern California University of Health Sciences
Whittier, CA 

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Utilization of nonpharmacological pain management may prevent unnecessary use of opioids.

Our objective was to evaluate the impact of chiropractic utilization upon use of prescription opioids among patients with spinal pain. Overall, in the states of CT, MA and NH, at any particular time in the study period of 2012-2017, between 1.55 and 2.03 times more nonrecipients of chiropractic care.filled an opioid prescription, as compared with recipients.

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Animal Study Finds Ibuprofen for Pain Relief Can Cause Liver Damage

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Aldrin V. Gomes, Ph.D., FAHA
Professor and Vice-Chair for Teaching,
Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616

Dr. Gomes

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: While many over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) now include a warning about potential cardiovascular disease, warnings about liver injury are hardly mentioned. This is because most NSAIDs including ibuprofen is considered to have very little potential to cause liver toxicity.

However, a 2018 publication (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2017.07.037) showed a relatively high prevalence of ibuprofen -induced liver injury in Spanish and Latin-American DILI (Drug induced liver injury) registries. As such, we were interested in determining what effects, if any, ibuprofen had on mice liver.

Low Back Pain: AI Can Expedite Pain Relief Recommendations Through Electronic Record

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Ismail Nabeel MD, MPH
Associate Professor
Public Health and General Preventive Medicine
Mount Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Nabeel

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Acute and chronic low back pain (LBP) are different conditions with different treatments. However, they are coded in electronic health records with the same International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) code (M54.5) and can be differentiated only by retrospective chart reviews. This prevents an efficient definition of data-driven guidelines for billing and therapy recommendations, such as return-to-work options, etc.

In this feasibility study, we evaluated if Artificial intelligence can automatically distinguish the quality of Low Back Pain (LBP) episodes by analyzing free-text clinical notes from the treating providers. 

These clinical notes were collected during a previous pilot study evaluating an RTW tool based on EHR data that included nearly 40,000 encounters for 15,715 patients spanning from 2016 to 2018 and clinical notes written by 81 different providers. We used a dataset of 17,409 clinical notes from different primary care practices; of these, 891 documents were manually annotated as “acute low back pain” and 2,973 were generally associated with LBP via the recorded ICD-10 code. 

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Nebulized Ketamine May Offer Pain Relief to Emergency Room Patients

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Jefferson Drapkin BS
Research Associate
Maimonides Medical Center
Department of Emergency Medicine
Brooklyn, New York

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Nebulized administration of ketamine has been studied in the areas of palliative care, therapy for asthma, and acute postoperative management of sore throat. To our knowledge, there is no literature regarding analgesic efficacy and safety of nebulized ketamine’s role in managing acute painful conditions in the emergency department (ED).

As all five patients had a decrease in pain from baseline to 120 min, this case series demonstrates that the inhalation route of ketamine delivery via breath-actuated nebulizer may have utility for managing pain in the ED.

Safety And Efficacy Of The Unique Opioid Buprenorphine For Chronic Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Joseph V. Pergolizzi, Jr., M.D.

Co-Founder and Chief Operating OfficerNEMA Research Inc.

Joseph V. Pergolizzi, Jr., M.D.
 Co-Founder and Chief Operating OfficerNEMA Research Inc.

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a leading cause of disability.

  • Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are first-line analgesic options or mild CLBP; however, when certain patients with moderate to severe CLBP do not achieve adequate pain relief, opioids are considered as an add-on therapy. Unfortunately, most opioid analgesics have the potential for adverse effects, abuse, and diversion.
  • Buprenorphine buccal film (Belbuca®) is an opioid analgesic classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in the United States and is a partial μ-opioid receptor agonist.
  • Buprenorphine buccal film is a unique analgesic that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in patients with chronic pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Two pivotal phase 3 clinical trials (Study 307, Clinical Trial ID NCT01675167, and Study 308, Clinical Trial ID NCT01633944) established the efficacy and safety profiles of buprenorphine buccal film.
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All Over-the-Counter Pain Relief Medications Contain Both Risks and Benefits

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H, FACPM, FACC
Sir Richard Doll Professor and Senior Academic Advisor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: About 29 million Americans use over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat pain. Every year in the United States (US),  NSAID use is attributed to  approximately 100,000 hospitalizations and 17,000 deaths. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently strengthened its warning about risks of non-aspirin NSAIDs on heart attacks and strokes. 

While each over the counter and prescription pain reliever  has benefits and risks, deciding which to use is complicated for healthcare providers and their patients.

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Knee Pain Relief by Emoblization of Joint Synovial Tissue

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Ari J. Isaacson MD
Director of Clinical Research
Clinical Associate Professor, Vascular Interventional Radiology
University of North Carolina

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: The current treatments for pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee that does not respond to medication or physical therapy  include knee injections and knee replacement. However, some people are too young or unable to undergo knee replacement. Knee injections are often ineffective and need to repeated every few months. There is a need for a treatment option that can reliably relieve knee pain for a year or longer in patients who are not ready or able to undergo knee replacement.

Yoga and Physical Therapy Improved Sleep in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Eric J. Roseen, DC, MSc

Assistant Professsor, Department of Family Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center

Eric J. Roseen, DC, MSc
Assistant Professsor, Department of Family Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center
Dr. Roseen

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Sleep disturbance and insomnia are common among people with chronic low back pain (cLBP). Previous research showed that 59% of people with cLBP experience poor sleep quality and 53% are diagnosed with insomnia disorder. Medication for both sleep and back pain can have serious side effects, and risk of opioid-related overdose and death increases with use of sleep medications. Given the serious risks of combining pain and sleep medications, we evaluated the use of nonpharmacologic approaches to manage sleep quality in adults with chronic low back pain.

Our randomized controlled trial included 320 adults with chronic low back pain from predominantly low-income racially diverse neighborhoods of Boston. At the beginning of the study, over 90 percent of participants with cLBP reported poor sleep quality. Participants were randomly assigned one of three different therapies for cLBP: physical therapy (PT), weekly yoga, or reading educational materials. Our previous research showed that yoga and PT are similarly effective for lowering pain and improving physical function, and reduced the need for pain medication. In this study, results for sleep improvements were compared over a 12-week intervention period and after 1 year of follow-up.

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Off-Label Gabapentinoid Prescriptions for Cancer Pain Relief Double

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Alex Fauer, RN, OCN®
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Michigan School of Nursing

PainRelief.com Interview with: Alex Fauer, RN, OCN® Ph.D. Candidate University of Michigan School of Nursing

PainRelief.com:  What are the main findings?

Response: Our primary finding of the paper is that the age-, sex-, and US region-adjusted percentage of adults who used a gabapentinoid increased from 2.34% to 5.60% from 2005 to 2015. The total number of gabapentinoid prescriptions  filled  among  US  adults diagnosed with  cancer was  approximately  1.19  million in 2005, but increased to 3.52 million in 2015.

We also found that adults aged 18-44 were the highest users of gabapentinoids.

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