Ponder this re Pain

Interesting articles in the press on the weekend.

New guidelines for doctors in managing patients with chronic pain will be “to focus on the ability of the patient to handle pain and function”.  “This relates to breathing, exercise and reducing the use of opioids that are addictive and have side effects such as nausea, vomiting and constipation that can actually deteriorate the outcome.”

Research from an Oxford university study found that people with a larger social network have a higher tolerance to pain. They said the “Friendship Factor” was so powerful that it was a better pain killer than morphine ( a strong opioid – see above).

Another report from Canada’s largest chronic pain treatment centre found that obese people are more likely to suffer from chronic pain but that many medications to reduce this cause them to put on even more weight. They recommended lower risk drug options, reducing weight or changing your diet and doing graduated exercise.

Finally Choice has criticised the $1.7 Million fine handed to the makers of Nurofen as “pocket change” for their deception in marketing pain killers as being able to target areas of pain such as low back, headaches and period pain when they were no different to their normal pain killers but for which they charged twice as much. Choice felt they should be fined $60 Million.

Ignoring or masking minor aches and pains with medications will likely ensure that what was a small problem becomes a bigger one with bigger consequences.