Category Archives: Pain

Meditation and Pain

Meditation can relieve pain, and it does so by activating multiple brain areas, according to an April 2011 study in the Journal of Neuroscience. Fadel Zeidan of Wake Forest University and his colleagues scanned people’s brains as they received uncomfortably hot touches to the leg. When subjects practiced a mindful meditation technique that encourages detachment from experience while focusing on breathing, they reported lesspain than when they simply paid attention to their breathing. Likewise, different patterns of brain activity emerged under the two conditions, with mindful meditating resulting in more activity not only in executive centers that evaluate experiences and regulate emotions but also in lower regions that control the signals coming from the body.

The volunteers learned the meditation technique in only four 20-minute sessions, which means this pill-free analgesia could be a feasible way to help real patients suffering from pain. “People can reap some of the benefits of meditation without extensive training,” Zeidan says.

When I work with patients using mindfulness I start by asking who has experience with any type of meditation, breathing techniques and/or relaxation exercises. We than have a  brief explanation and question and answer period and I focus on removing any doubt, fear, or skepticism. I usually than do a 10 to 12 minute body scan moving right into a mindful meditation that focuses on the breath.

With the co-occurring patients I work with this process seems to work the best. The chat in the beginning warms people up, the body scan relaxes which helps the meditators enter into a more meditative state.

Strong placebo response thwarts painkiller trials

Interesting article, placebo’s as effective as meds.

Drug companies have a problem: they are finding it ever harder to get painkillers through clinical trials. But this isn’t necessarily because the drugs are getting worse. An extensive analysis of trial data1 has found that responses to sham treatments have become stronger over time, making it harder to prove a drug’s advantage over placebo.

The change in response to placebo treatments for pain, discovered by researchers in Canada, holds true only for US clinical trials. “We were absolutely floored when we found out,” says Jeffrey Mogil, who directs the pain-genetics lab at McGill University in Montreal and led the analysis. Simply being in a US trial and receiving sham treatment now seems to relieve pain almost as effectively as many promising new drugs. Mogil thinks that as US trials get longer, larger and more expensive, they may be enhancing participants’ expectations of their effectiveness.

See the entire article here:  http://www.nature.com/news/strong-placebo-response-thwarts-painkiller-trials-1.18511?%3Fftcamp=crm%2Femail%2F%2Fnbe%2FFirstFTEurope%2Fproduct

Narrow Indication for Abuse-Deterrent Morphine

The latest opioid approved by FDA will be “expected” to reduce abuse by only one route — injection — in its official labeling.

In a carefully-worded press release, drugmaker Egalet said its extended-release morphine drug Arymo ER “increased resistance to cutting, crushing, grinding or breaking using a variety of tools. Due to its physical and chemical properties, Arymo ER is expected to make abuse by injection difficult.” 1pillst

In an FDA advisory committee meeting last year, participants voted that the drug could deter abuse via the oral, nasal, and intravenous routes of abuse. But there were several reasons only the intravenous route won labeling.

An FDA spokesperson told MedPage Today that MorphaBond, another morphine product, has “marketing exclusivity for labeling describing the expected reduction of abuse of single-entity, extended-release morphine by the intranasal route due to physicochemical properties.” MORE HERE