Orthopedic Surgeon Discusses iovera Cold Therapy For Pain Relief from Knee Osteoarthritis

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Dr. Sean McMillan DO
Chief of Orthopedics and Director of Orthopedic Sports Medicine
Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, Burlington, NJ
Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Rowan University –
School of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. McMillan discusses the iovera° system which is used to provide pain relief from knee osteoarthritis, using extreme cold therapy.


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

Response: I see many patients dealing with osteoarthritis (OA) pain, many of whom need total knee replacements. In fact, OA is the most common joint disorder in the United States and one of the primary reasons people seek knee replacement surgery. iovera° is a non-opioid, nonpharmacologic treatment that can alleviate knee pain by delivering extreme cold therapy (cryoanalgesia) to a targeted nerve. The iovera° treatment uses the body’s natural response to cold to treat nerves and immediately reduce pain for patients dealing with OA and/or surgical pain from knee replacement procedures. One treatment with the iovera° system can provide pain relief for up to 90 days.

Unaddressed knee pain can have many consequences such as increased discomfort, reduced mobility, and irreversible damage. This non-opioid treatment helps to stave off pain both prior to surgery and for postsurgical pain when surgery becomes necessary, making for a smoother recovery process with limited opioid use.

Genetic Differences Distinguish Episodic Versus Chronic Migraine and May Open New Avenues of Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Aliya Yakubova MD
OpenLab “Gene and Cell Technologies”
Institute of Fundamental Medicine, Kazan Federal University
Kazan, Russia

Dr. Yakubova

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

Response: Migraine is a common debilitating primary headache disorder with strong socio-economic effects. According to some estimates, migraine is the most costly neurological disease: for example, in the European Union, it costs more than 27 billion euros a year.

In this regard, chronic type of migraine (with more than 15 attacks per month for more than three months) is of special interest. Because of high prevalence and the burden of attacks, it is of great importance to improve diagnostic tools for patient stratification and choosing appropriate treatment strategies of migraine. For this purpose we investigated contribution of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptors to migraine chronification. It is known that these receptors are directly involved in the disease pathogenesis being associated with the release of the key migraine pain mediator, the calcitonin gene – related peptide (CGRP). Moreover, recent studies have suggested that the non-synonymous TRPV1 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 1911A> G (rs8065080), resulting to the substitution of amino acids isoleucine to valine in the protein structure of receptor (Ile585Val), influences functional activity of these receptors in neuropathic pain syndromes. All this together was the starting point of our research in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Eastern Finland.

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Voltaren® Arthritis Pain Provided Meaningful Pain Relief in Knee Osteoarthritis

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Jeffrey Fudin, B.S., Pharm.D., FCCP, FASHP
Diplomate, American Academy of Pain Management
Section Editor, Pain Medicine

Dr. Fudin

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

Response: Osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 14% of the United States population. As such it is important to establish effective, well-tolerated, and safe medication options. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) act locally and are strongly recommended for patients with knee osteoarthritis as a first line option prior to chronic oral NSAID use in an effort to minimize systemic exposure, as oral products, result in tremendously higher blood levels compared to their topical counterpart.

PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Diclofenac sodium gel 1% (DSG 1%), a topical NSAID, provided better pain relief than non-drug vehicle alone for patients with knee osteoarthritis in 3 clinical trials. A post-hoc meta-analysis of these trials was conducted to determine the percentage of patients achieving a minimal clinically important improvement (MCII) in pain and other symptoms of OA to gain insight into the real world clinical impact of topical diclofenac for patients. The MCII is defined as the smallest improvement in symptoms viewed as clinically meaningful for patients. In short, the MCII represents an improvement of relevance in a clinical trial and the minimal meaningful change at an individual level.

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Wide Variation in Opioid Prescribing for Pain Relief Following Knee Arthroscopy

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Benjamin Ukert PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
Texas A&M

Mucio Kit Delgado, MD, MS
Department of Emergency Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

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

Response: The opioid epidemic has received a lot of attention and many state policies have been passed to address excessive opioid prescribing and highlight the dangers of opioid use initiation for those who have never been exposed to opioids. We also now know that most patients prescribed opioids for post-operative pain have significant quantities of pills leftover. One study showed that after knee arthroscopy, 50% of patients took no opioids, and 90% took less than 5 pills (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7190545/).

We thought to investigate whether overprescribing is still common, and asked the question whether we now observe low levels of prescribing following knee arthroscopy and whether there are differences in prescribing practices across states.

Study Finds Chronic Pain Patients Used More Opioids For Pain Relief When COVID-19 Cancelled Elective Procedures

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Dr. Shantha Ganesan MD
 Pain Medicine Specialist
Kings County Hospital Center

David Kim, MD, PGY-2
SUNY Downstate Department of Anesthesiology 

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

Response: The opioid epidemic is a serious national crisis that has detrimental impacts on both public health, and social and economic welfare. Therefore, any efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, including minimizing or weaning opioid prescriptions, and using other modes of analgesia when possible are undeniably necessary in this day and age. With the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare providers abruptly changed their care delivery. In-person clinic visits were changed to telemedicine, and elective cases were cancelled.

Due to a growing concern that chronic pain patients may have limited resources from this unprecedented time of social and economic shutdown, organizations such as American Medical Association and Drug Enforcement Administration have supported implementing measures to ensure these patients achieve adequate pain control by increasing access to pain medications, but at the cost of reducing barriers and restrictions to controlled substances. Given the cancellation of elective interventional pain management procedures and relaxed regulations on controlled substances during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is reasonable to suspect a dramatic increase in opioid prescription during this time.

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Factors Affecting Adults’ Choice of Opioids for Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Didem Bernard, Ph.D.
Senior Economist
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

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

Response: There had not been any studies on whether patient attitudes about health affect opioid use. A self-reliant health attitude is agreement with the following statements: “I do not need health insurance,” and “I can overcome illness without help from a medically trained person.”

We find that health-related attitudes affect both adults with and without chronic pain treatment similarly. Adults with self-reliant health attitudes are less likely to start and more likely to discontinue opioid use. Exercise is also associated with a higher probability of choosing no analgesic treatments over using opioids. Similarly, among adults who are using opioids for pain treatment, exercise is associated with a higher probability of discontinuing opioid use in the year following opioid initiation.

Telehealth Coaching Program Provided Pain Relief in Chronic Pain Patients

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Zachary D. Rethorn, PT, DPT
Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
Certified Health Coach
Faculty Development Resident
Doctor of Physical Therapy Division
Duke University School of Medicine
Zachary D. Rethorn,
Dr. Rethorn

ainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  How was the coaching delivered?  What types of pain were included in the study?

Response: The background for this study is that care for folks with persistent pain is complex and requires care that addresses the whole person. In line with this, health coaching may be an effective avenue for promoting healthy behaviors and helping patients to identify their personal values and goals related to persistent pain management.

The coaching was delivered telephonically and a more complete intervention description can be found here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jabr.12082

Participants with persistent pain were included in the study. A complete demographic description can be found in Table 1.

Pain Relief from NSAIDS and COVID-19 Outcomes

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Anton Pottegård DMSc PhD

Professor (MScPharm, PhD, DMSc)
Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Department of Public Health
University of Southern Denmark
Head of Research, Hospital Pharmacy Funen
Odense University Hospital

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

Response: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns were raised that use of the common painkiller ibuprofen – a so-called NSAID – to treat symptoms of COVID-19 might lead to more severe disease. This started with tweets from the French health minister and culminated with a warning issued by the WHO. This warning was later retracted, but naturally patients and physicians were concerned regarding the safety of ibuprofen. We therefore established a nationwide Danish collaboration between researchers and regulators and established a prospective cohort of all Danish patients that contracted COVID-19, including data on what prescription medicines they used. We used these data to evaluate whether users of ibuprofen or other NSAIDs on average had a more severe course of COVID-19 than those not using these drugs.

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Newly Discovered Molecule Causes Pain Relief and Cartilage Healing in Osteoarthritis

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Prof Francesco Dell’Accio and
Dr Suzanne E Eldridge
Department of Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology
William Harvey Research Institute
Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry,
London

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

Response: Our main research focus is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 10-30% of the population over the age of 60, causing joint pain and disability for many. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that covers the bones in the joints is destroyed. Therefore, the bones grind over each other, causing pain and disability. Joint replacement surgery is often carried out.  

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Take Courage Coaching® Offers Patients Pain Management Education and Tools for Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Becky Curtis
Founder & CEO — CPMC NBC-HWC
Take Courage Coaching® 

PainRelief.com:  How did you become interested in pain control? 

Response: I did not become interested in pain control until pain controlled my life. After my rollover car accident in 2005, rehabilitation, and severe chronic pain, I went to a pain clinic and got training in the science of pain and started to learn tools that helped me make behavioral changes. I started to research on my own and collaborate with medical specialists and decided that most people with chronic pain need ongoing support, the tools to manage their pain, and accountability to make goals and stick to them.