Dear  Subscriber,

Welcome to the fourth in a new e-newsletter series, ‘Disarming Pain – A Focus on Pain Management in General Practice’, brought to you by Sanofi and distributed in association with Irishhealthpro. In this edition, we take an in-depth look at the psychological aspects of managing non-chronic pain. Plus, we take a look at some of the latest research in the area of pain management, including a review of the link between anxiety and depression and the incidence of migraines. Another recent study suggested yoga may be as effective as physical therapy in easing back pain. We hope you find this edition of use, and look forward to your feedback. 


The 'Disarming Pain' Team

Psychological aspects of managing (non-chronic) pain

Everyone experiences acute pain at some point, usually as a result of injury, accident, medical illness, or post-operatively, and for most people it will resolve with healing over a short period of time.1,2  However, for those patients with unrelieved acute pain there can be a significant psychological impact...

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For each edition, our team will review the latest research from clinical journals and select four pain-related articles we think you may find interesting:

Anxiety and depression linked to migraines.

Chu H-T, et al. Associations Between Depression/Anxiety and Headache Frequency in Migraineurs: A Cross-Sectional Study. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. doi:10.1111/head.13215.

A new study has indicated that adequate medical treatment to decrease how often migraine sufferers have headaches may reduce their risk of depression and anxiety. More frequent migraines were experienced by participants with symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to a study of 588 patients who attended an outpatient headache clinic. Investigators found that emotional distress and frequency of headache may influence each other through a common pathophysiological mechanism..

Foot pain? Look at hip and knee for complete diagnosis. 

Dufour AB, et al. Foot Pain in Relation to Ipsilateral and Contralateral Lower-Extremity Pain in a Population-Based Study. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 2017; 107 (4): 307.

New guidelines may be needed for evaluating and treating lower extremity pain, according to new research. Investigators found that foot pain was significantly associated with lower extremity joint pain (knee, hip), recommending that a comprehensive orthopaedic evaluation by clinicians may prompt a broader treatment strategy and possibly a referral to another specialist..

Patients’ preferences for headache acute and preventive treatment.

Mitsikostas et al. Patients’ preferences for headache acute and preventive treatment The Journal of Headache and Pain 2017; 18: 102 

Patient preferences for headache treatments has indicated that efficacy of a treatment is more important than safety or route of administration. Results of a self-administered questionnaire found that patients preferred to use an external neurostimulation device for both acute (67.1%) and preventive treatment (62.8%); most patients preferred to take a pill (86%) than any other drug given parenterally for symptomatic pharmaceutical treatment, and for preventive pharmaceutical treatment, most patients preferred to take a pill once per day (52%) compared to an injection either subcutaneously or intravenously each month (9% and 4%), or three months (15% and 11%).

Yoga could help ease back pain.

Saper RB, et al. Yoga, Physical Therapy, or Education for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Noninferiority Trial. Ann Intern Med 2017; 167(2): 85-94. 

A study of more than 300 patients with non-specific low back pain found that doing yoga was as effective as physical therapy (PT) in reducing pain, improving function and lowering people's use of pain medications. The frequency of adverse events, which were mostly mild, self-limited joint and back pain, did not differ between the yoga and PT groups.

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