This section will include pain research in the news, general stories about research and findings, pain abstracts in the news, and PubMed abstracts

Chronic Use of Tramadol after Acute Pain Episode: Cohort Study

To determine the risk of prolonged opioid use in patients receiving tramadol compared with other short acting opioids. Opioid-naive patients undergoing elective surgery. Risk of persistent opioid use after discharge for patients treated with tramadol alone compared with other short acting opioids, using three commonly used definitions of prolonged opioid use from the literature: additional opioid use (defined as at least one opioid fill 90-180 days after surgery); persistent opioid use (any span of opioid use starting in the 180 days after surgery and lasting ≥90 days); and CONSORT definition (an opioid use episode starting in the 180 days after surgery that spans ≥90 days and includes either ≥10 opioid fills or ≥120 days' supply of opioids).

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Hospitals Testing Virtual Reality to Improve Pain Management

Hospitals are experimenting with virtual reality to see if it can reduce pain, enhance the effect of medication, and lower the chances a patient is admitted.  Full story.  
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Remote Electrical Neuromodulation (REN) Relieves Acute Migraine: A Randomized, Double‐Blind, Placebo‐Controlled, Multicenter Trial

There is a significant unmet need for novel effective well‐tolerated acute migraine treatments. REN is a novel acute migraine treatment that stimulates upper arm peripheral nerves to induce conditioned pain modulation – ...
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New Opioid Speeds Up Recovery Without Increasing Pain Sensitivity or Risk of Chronic Pain

A novel opioid developed by researchers at Tulane University and the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System is as strong as morphine but isn't addictive and causes fewer side effects, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation

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Multiple Cranial Nerve Blocks for the Transitional Treatment of Chronic Headaches

Multiple cranial nerve blocks of the greater and lesser occipital, supraorbital, supratrochlear and auriculotemporal nerves are widely used in the treatment of primary headaches. We present efficacy and safety data for these procedures. In an uncontrolled open-label prospective study, 119 patients with chronic cluster headache, chronic migraine, short lasting unilateral neuralgiform attack disorders, new daily persistent headaches, hemicrania continua and chronic paroxysmal hemicrania were examined.

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Researchers are Testing Ultrasound to Treat Neuropathic Pain

Steroid injections, nerve stimulators and spinal fusions were no match for the chronic pain in Tammy Durfee's left side. After a decade searching for relief, a four-hour procedure using focused ultrasound put her pain to rest.

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Virtual Reality as Therapy for Pain

Virtual Reality Therapy is the new kid on the block for pain management, now gradually growing in use as the opioid epidemic continues to soar and the price of the needed equipment has plummeted. 

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Using Mind Over Matter to Help Treat Chronic Pain

Researchers analyzed 21 randomized studies focusing on the effect of either cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to redirect pain-related thoughts and behaviors, or mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), combining yoga and meditation to build awareness and acceptance of moment-to-moment experiences (including pain).

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The Effectiveness of Hypnosis for Pain Relief: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 85 Controlled Experimental Trials

The current meta-analysis aimed to quantify the effectiveness of hypnosis for reducing pain and identify factors that influence efficacy. Six major databases were systematically searched for trials comparing hypnotic inductions with no-intervention control conditions on pain ratings, threshold and tolerance using experimentally-evoked pain models in healthy participants. Random effects meta-analysis found analgesic effects of hypnosis for all pain outcomes.

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App-Based Multidisciplinary Back Pain Treatment Versus Combined Physiotherapy Plus Online Education: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Non-specific low back pain (LBP) is one of the leading causes of global disability. Multidisciplinary pain treatment (MPT) programs comprising educational, physical, and psychological interventions have shown positive treatment effects on LBP. Nonetheless, such programs are costly and treatment opportunities are often limited to specialized medical centers. mHealth and other digital interventions may be a promising method to successfully support patient self-management in LBP. To address these issues, we investigated the clinical effects of a multidisciplinary mHealth back pain App (Kaia App) in a randomized controlled trial (registered at German Clinical Trials Register under DRKS00016329).

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The AAPM Annual Meeting offers education and networking opportunities for all members of the pain care team.

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