Pain Management

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

Sodium Channels Offer Path to Personalized Pain Management

By Annette M. Boyle Steven Waxman, MD NEW HAVEN, CT — Researchers at the West Haven VAMC and Yale University are moving closer to a new class of pain medications devoid of side effects and may have uncovered a critical… Read More

Careful Patient Management Essential for Mitigating Opioid Side Effects

By Annette M. Boyle Rollin M. “Mac” Gallagher, MD, MPH PHILADELPHIA – More than 50% of all VHA patients and more than 90% of those with polytrauma report experiencing chronic pain and, for many, only opioids provide significant relief. Unfortunately,… Read More