Playing Virtual Reality Games May Provide Some Pediatric Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Henry Xiang MD MMBA
Professor of Medicine and
Director of Center for Pediatric Trauma Research
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Professor of Pediatrics
The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Xiang


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

Response: The rationale for the study is that burn dressing changes are very painful, and physicians/nurses sometimes must prescribe high dose of opioid pain medications to manage the pain. Because of the repeated painful dressing changes, a lot of children have anxiety about the upcoming burn dressings change.

PainRelief.com:  What are the main findings?

Response: Our main findings are:

1) Smartphone-based VR games could be an effective pain management tool for pediatric burn patients;

2) Actively playing the virtual reality games is more effective in managing the pain than just watching the same VR game.

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Ketorolac vs Ibuprofen for Acute Low Back Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Benjamin W. Friedman, MD, MS, FAAEM, FACEP, FAHS
Professor of Emergency Medicine
Vice-chair for Clinical Investigation
Department of Emergency Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Montefiore 
Bronx, NY 10467

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

Response: A very large number of patients present to US EDs annually with back pain. No medications have proven more effective than NSAIDs for low back pain. Similarly, combining other medications such as skeletal muscle relaxants or opioids with NSAIDs does not improve outcomes more than NSAIDs alone.

Prior to our study, little was known about which NSAIDs were most efficacious for acute low back pain.

The main finding of our study is that ketorolac was more efficacious than ibuprofen for some two and five day outcomes that are important for patients.

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Infused VYEPTI Provided Pain Relief When Initiated During a Migraine Attack

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Roger Cady, MD
VP Neurology
Lundbeck Pharmaceutical
La Jolla Research Center
San Diego, CA 92121

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

Response: The RELIEF study evaluated how preventive migraine candidates may benefit from a VYEPTI infusion during an active migraine attack when administered within 1 to 6 hours of a moderate to severe migraine attack. VYEPTI is the first and only intravenous (IV) infusion approved for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults.

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Chronic Pain Increasing in Every Age and Demographic Group

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University at Buffalo, SUNY

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

Response: Although chronic pain is recognized as an extremely common and costly health problem, little research has explored temporal trends in pain prevalence.  Indeed, as recently as 5-6 years ago, there was no published research using general population data examining whether pain prevalence in the U.S. was going up, going down, or staying constant.  (This can be contrasted to conditions such as diabetes and cancer, for which information about long-term trends is readily available.  Of note, chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined.)  In recent years, a few studies have documented rising pain prevalence in the U.S., but most have used data on middle-aged or older adults.

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Fusion vs Replacement for Pain Relief from Ankle Arthritis

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Bruce J. Sangeorzan, M.D.
, Professor
Director, RR&D Center for Excellence in Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering
Veterans Affairs
University of Washington

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

Response: We began a series of studies in the early 2000’s when ankle replacement was limited to a few centers like our own. We knew that ankle arthrodesis– or fusion—was an effective treatment for ankle arthritis. But ankle fusion is not appropriate for some people and it also results in loss of ankle motion. There were a growing number of ankle replacements being done but little was known about their effectiveness or how long they last.

We wanted to study whether replacement and fusion were comparable for pain relief and activity and wanted to know if maintaining motion of the ankle (by using a replacement) would have an advantage without additional risk. Three studies were done involving more than 800 patients from 6 centers.

This most recent study compared two groups of patients who had similar amount of pain and activity before treatment. All of the patients had already tried non -surgical solutions such as activity modification, bracing and injections with out improvement. One group had fusion of the ankle and the other had replacement of the ankle. Patients were questioned and examined four years or more after surgery and compared to their condition before treatment.

Study Evaluates Placebo Effect of CBD on Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Martin De Vita, CPT, MS, USA
Doctoral Candidate
Clinical Psychology Department
Syracuse University

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

Response: Seemingly out of nowhere, cannabidiol (CBD) products became immensely popular. Cross-sectional studies showed widespread use among the public for various clinical conditions. Pain was by far the most commonly reason cited for using CBD. However, no human experimental pain studies had been conducted to evaluate the analgesic effects of CBD. A lot of people questioned whether CBD effects on pain were just a placebo.

To answer this question, we tested people’s baseline pain responding using sophisticated equipment capable of delivering safe, but painful stimulation that activates and evaluates human nervous system processes. Then we administered either CBD or a placebo and re-tested these pain outcomes to see how they changed. We took it a step further and manipulated the information that participants were given about which substance they received. So in some conditions, participants were told they got CBD, even though it was just a placebo. In other conditions, participants were told they got an inactive substance, despite actually receiving CBD. This way, we could test whether simply telling someone that they had received CBD would have an effect on their pain. These are called expectancy effects and there is a large body of literature that supports this phenomenon.

When we looked at the data, we found that CBD analgesia was actually driven by both expectancies (placebo analgesia) and pharmacological action. We also found that these manipulations affected different pain outcomes. We found that both CBD and expectancies reduced pain unpleasantness but not pain intensity. The results were complex in that CBD and expectancies for receiving CBD differentially affected various outcomes. This was exciting because we are left with even more questions to investigate in future research.

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Tapentadol Provided Pain Relief and Improved Sleep in Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Dr Renato Vellucci
Contract Professor University of Florence
Pain and Palliative care Clinic
University Hospital of Careggi
Florence, Italy

Dr. Vellucci

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

Response: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is the most prevalent chronic pain (CP) condition and the leading global cause of years lived with disability. According to the axiom pain as a biopsychosocial issue, mood and sleep disturbances represent key issues. However, the impact of different analgesic therapies on quality of life (QoL) and functional recovery has been poorly assessed to date. Focusing on combination of chronic pain and sleep, they both perform a mutual reinforcement.

Pain disorganizes the sleep architecture, and disturbed and unrefreshed sleep increases spontaneous pain and lowers pain thresholds. Sleep disorders may augment stress levels, thus making it difficult for patients to perform simple tasks impairing their cognitive ability. Poor sleep may predict the growth and intensification of pain over time, with increased insomnia symptoms being both a predictor and an indicator of worse pain outcomes and physical functioning status over time. Epidemiology of chronic pain unequivocally demonstrates the role of sleep quality in the development of chronic pain.

Notwithstanding this strong two-way relationship between chronic pain and sleep, little knowledge is available about the neurochemical determinants of this interplay and therapeutical strategies to break this vicious circle. Fifty percent of people with chronic low back pain have sleeping disturbances, with an 18-fold increase in insomnia versus healthy people. A recent study investigated the relationship between sleep disturbances and back pain and found that it is two sided with sleep disturbance being associated with risk of back pain whilst back pain can also lead to sleep disturbances. Thus, it can be hypothesized that, by reducing pain and physical dysfunction, sleep quality could be improved, thus enriching the QoL of people with CLBP.

Similarly, improvements in sleep after cognitive behavioral therapy in patients with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis were associated with reduced pain. Earlier evidence suggested that tapentadol prolonged-release treatment ameliorate in parallel QoL and sleep quality in a greater proportion of patients compared to that of patients following oxycodone/naloxone prolonged- release treatment (50% versus 37.7%). Other tapentadol studies conducted in a real-life context documented, along with effective pain control, similar improvements in mental and physical health and suggested beneficial effects in terms of less night awakenings and greater percentages of patients reporting restful sleep.

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Peptide May Allow Cannabis to Provide Pain Relief Without Unwanted Side Effects

PainRelief.com Interview with:
David Andreu, PhD
Professor of Chemistry
Department of Experimental & Health Sciences
Pompeu Fabra University
Barcelona Biomedical Research Park
Barcelona, Spain

Prof. David Andreu (right)
Maria Gallo,
(first author)
Prof. Rafael Maldonado

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

Response: Background is the (earlier) finding of a cross-talk between CB1 and 5HT2A receptors (two GPCRs forming a heterodimer) that can be acted upon (disrupted) by peptides that allow to dissociate analgesic (CB1-mediated) from (unwanted) cognitive effects ( CB1/5HT2A heterodimer-mediated, memory impairment etc); this is reference 18 of our paper.

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Elevated Mortality Risk for Women with Back Pain

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Eric Roseen, DC, MSc
Director of the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities
Boston Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine

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

Response: More than 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and disability and inactivity are generally associated with greater mortality. Women and older adults, and those that experience more severe or persistent back pain, have an elevated risk of back-related disability. We were interested in whether back pain, in general or in these potentially at-risk subgroups, is associated with mortality. Thus, we conducted the first systematic literature review and meta-analysis of the association of back pain and all-cause mortality.

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