Pain Management

Early Physical Therapy Reduces Back Pain Costs

SAN ANTONIO — Following an initial episode of acute, nonspecific low-back pain (LBP), early and guideline-adherent physical therapy resulted in substantially lower costs and reduced use of healthcare resources over a two-year period, according to a study conducted within the… Read More

Duration of Opioid Action Affects Unintentional Overdoses

BOSTON — Clinicians weighing the risks and benefits of prescribing different opioid regimens should take not only the daily dose into consideration but also the duration of the opioid action, according to a new study. That study, published recently in… Read More

Opioid Prescribing Showed Great Variance Across VHA

IOWA CITY, IA – Opioid prescribing dramatically increased at the VHA during an eight year period ending in 2012 but demonstrated wide variation in prevalence and incident rates across geographical region, sex and age groups. Prevalence and incidence rates reflect… Read More

How Medical Marijuana Laws Affect Opioid Mortality

PHILADELPHIA – Could wider use of medical marijuana reduce mortality from opioid analgesic overdose? That question is raised by a study published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine.1 Noting that opioid analgesic overdose mortality continues to rise in the United States, driven… Read More

Direct Visual Observation Therapy Relieves Phantom-Limb Pain

BETHESDA, MD – With as many as one-third of unilateral=limb amputees suffering regularly from phantom limb pain, military medicine has been in search of an inexpensive and effective treatment. A study published recently in the Annals of Clinical and Translational… Read More

Pain Is a Growing Issue for Troops and Veterans; Safer Remedies Sought

Pain Is a Growing Issue for Troops and Veterans; Safer Remedies Sought

WASHINGTON – Trauma-related pain – both acute and chronic — has always been a universal problem among war-injured troops.

Telecare Program Effectively Manages Pain, Reduces Opioid Use in VA Patients

Telecare Program Effectively Manages Pain, Reduces Opioid Use in VA Patients

By Brenda L. Mooney INDIANAPOLIS  –  A yearlong VA telecare program to manage chronic pain due to arthritis or other musculoskeletal disorders not only doubled the likelihood of improvement for veterans in the intervention program but also demonstrated that patients… Read More

Research Finds Unexpectedly High Rates of Pain, Opioid Use in Recently Deployed Soldiers

Research Finds Unexpectedly High Rates of Pain, Opioid Use in Recently Deployed Soldiers

By Annette M. Boyle SILVER SPRING, MD – Skyrocketing prescription opioid use in the civilian population has attracted widespread medical and media attention. While the DoD and VA implemented a pain management task force in 2010, relatively little research has… Read More

FDA Adds Warning to Corticosteroid Injection Labels

WASHINGTON – Corticosteroid injections given to treat neck and back pain, as well as radiating pain in the arms and legs, can have rare but serious adverse effects, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Noting that those side… Read More

Greater Alternative Therapy Use Gradually Decreases Opioid Dependence in Military

Greater Alternative Therapy Use Gradually Decreases Opioid Dependence in Military

WASHINGTON – The use of opioids has slightly decreased in the military, an Army official told lawmakers last month.

Chronic Pain Med Use Increases Depression Incidence

ST. LOUIS – Chronic use of pain-relieving medication can increase in the risk of developing major depression, according to a new veterans study. The study, led by researchers from Saint Louis University and published recently in the Journal of General… Read More

Mindfulness Intervention Shown to Lower Opioid Misuse

SALT LAKE CITY – Active-duty servicemembers with chronic pain will be among the next groups tested with a new mindfulness-focused treatment to lower opioid misuse. The new intervention, called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) is designed to train patients to respond… Read More

Risk, Not Pain Relief, Increased by Pre-Nerve Block Sedation

BALTIMORE – When patients are sedated before a nerve block to diagnose or treat chronic pain, costs and the risks of unnecessary surgery increase without improving patient satisfaction or pain control in the long term. That’s according to a report… Read More

Auricular Acupuncture: Convenient Technique for Battlefield Pain

Auricular Acupuncture: Convenient Technique for Battlefield Pain

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD – For many servicemembers, pain is an accepted consequence of military service.

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

MINNEAPOLIS — A new initiative to reduce the use of opioids at the VA already is demonstrating some success at eight launch sites in Minnesota, where high-dose use of the painkillers has been reduced more than 50%.

Internet Tool Uses Patient Feedback to Improve Army Pain Management

Internet Tool Uses Patient Feedback to Improve Army Pain Management

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — A new Internet tool is a powerful weapon to combat pain, and the DoD is now launching it in a pilot location. The Pain Assessment Screening Tool and Outcomes Registry (PASTOR) recently was rolled out… Read More

How Prescribers Discuss Opioid Use/Abuse with Patients

INDIANAPOLIS — From press reports, it might seem that everyone is talking about opioid analgesics. The question that VA researchers set out to answer, however, is how prescribers were discussing use of the pain relievers with their patients. A pilot… Read More

Opioid Use Raises Depression Risk in Veterans

ST. LOUIS, MO — The chronic use of opioid analgesics is linked to an increase in the risk of developing major depression, according to a review of veterans’ medical records. The study, led by Saint Louis University researchers, was published… Read More

DNA Used to Predict Amputee’s Pain Levels

SAN FRANCISCO — Researchers now are able to predict which wounded servicemembers are likely to develop persistent, chronic pain after amputation based on variants in their individual DNA sequence. The report on the medical advancement, led by researchers from Duke… Read More

Legislators Call on VA to Stop Over-Prescription of Powerful Painkillers

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — In the wake of accusations that veterans are over-prescribed powerful painkillers, a House of Representatives subcommittee chairman called on VA to adopt more effective pain management protocols.  “The stakes are too high for VA to… Read More