According to a recent survey by Lloyds Pharmacy group in England, over 40% of people claim that listening to music can help alleviate chronic aches and pains. The impact appears to be even greater for younger people, with two out of three people in the 16-to-24 age bracket claiming that music helps with their pain.
A few different genres are popular among those surveys, including pop (21%), classical (17%) and indie (16%). The following five songs were cited as being most helpful to those with chronic pain:
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A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that "counterforce braces" are gaining momentum in the medical community as a potential way to combat elbow tendinitis. While they have not yet been fully vetted in clinical studies, many patients have claimed that it has been effective in relieving their elbow, hand and wrist pain.
Elbow tendinitis can be caused by a variety of activities, from playing sports to typing or gardening, and it can take a long time to heal.
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One of the leading causes of lower back pain is an injury to or the overuse of the muscles, ligaments and joint in the lower back region. Another common cause of low back pain is caused by pressure being put on the nerve roots as they exit the spinal canal. There are many conditions that can cause pressure on the nerve roots including:
- Herniated disc
- Osteoarthritis of the low back in the small joints of the lower spine.
- Spondylolithesis (one vertebrae sliding over another)
- Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal especially in the older adult)
- Fractures of the vertebrae or compression fractures (with osteoporosis or trauma)
- Spinal deformities such as scoliosis or kyphosis
Less common conditions that can cause low back pain include: other types of arthritis, bacterial infections and tumors or cancers.
It is very important to know the cause or condition leading to your back pain before you decide on what type of treatment you need. Often, the treatment for low back pain will involve a combination of several different approaches, including rest, heat or cold therapies, different types of medications, supports or braces, stretching and strengthening exercises (physical therapy), movement therapy (such as yoga), acupuncture, massage therapy, spinal manipulation (osteopath or chiropractor) and as a last resort surgery.
We have formulated the Energeze Patch as an all natural option that can be effective by itself or in combination with some of the other therapies listed above. Let us know what works best for you!
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In the quest to alleviate suffering in patients with long-term pain, researchers have turned to a new source of inspiration: people who can't feel any pain. As the Wall Street Journal explains,
Research has shown that rare mutations in a gene called SCN9A can give people complete immunity to pain. Now, pharmaceutical companies are aiming to develop drugs to mimic that genetic mutation.
Chronic pain affects approximately 1 in 5 people, and many of them do not respond to standard treatments such as ibuprofen or painkillers. Scientists are hoping that new methods tied to the SCN9A gene can succeed where traditional drugs fail by preventing nerve cells from sending pain signals to the brain.
Nerve cells send these signals with the help of a certain type of protein, called a sodium channel, that forms a pore in the cell's membrane. Inherited mutations in the SCN9A gene block the functioning of these sodium channels, called Nav1.7 sodium channels. The experimental drugs also seek to block them—or at least to blunt their ability to transmit pain.
This new method of pain relief is showing potential, and trials are currently in progress. Along with other alternative, science-based forms of therapy such as the Energeze Patch, these new treatments are ushering in a new understanding of pain relief.
You can read the full story, "The Quest for Better Pain Relief," on the Wall Street Journal's website.
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According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, a study led by researchers at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine examined the potential pain-relieving effects of applying pressure to the “hegu” point on the hand, located between the thumb and forefinger.
While the details of how hegu pressure works, research suggests that it may increase blood flow to the face and stimulate endorphins to relieve pain. Ting Bao, the study’s author and an oncologist and medical acupuncturist at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore, suggests that hegu “’takes the edge” off acute pain.
The Journal explains how to manually manipulate your own hegu point:
To manipulate your own hegu point, acupuncturists say to put a thumb on top of the fleshy part between the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand. Place your forefinger on the other side of the hand and press hard. If you're doing it right, it will hurt, Dr. Bao adds.
To read the full Wall Street Journal article, click here.
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Despite years’ of research, the mechanisms underlying pain are still not well understood. The receptors in skin and organs which detect noxious stimuli that the brain identifies as “pain” are varied. Molecular mechanisms in these same receptors can also distinguish among temperature, pressure and chemicals.
Several kinds of nerve fibers (A fibers such as the A-beta fibers (Aβ), A-delta fibers (Aδ), and the C fibers) couple with receptors in the skin and organs to transmit “messages” in the form of bioelectrical impulses to the spinal column and then to the brain. The intensity of the impulse transmitted is proportional to the breadth and strength of the noxious stimulus.
Acute pain is perceived differently than chronic pain, and chronic pain may be real or a misinterpretation by the brain. Additionally, some patients’ brains can “identify” the gentlest touch as being extremely painful since for some unknown reason the whole pain-sensing function has been seriously over-sensitized. Yet, if a patient is experiencing pain, treatment is necessary, even though determining the exact cause of pain may be difficult or even impossible.
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Pain relief is expensive. The annual cost to individuals, insurance companies and Medicare has been estimated to be as much as $319 billion. One study reported in the Journal of Pain stated that individuals with moderate pain paid $4,475 per year more for health care costs than individuals without pain. Patients with severe pain paid an additional $3,210. Yet treatment is often ineffective since 57% of all adults report chronic or recurrent pain annually.
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The impact of pain on business has also been estimated by a number of sources. The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) estimates that the annual cost to businesses for lost productivity is $297.4 - $335.5 billion. This is not only for sick days, but also for reduced productivity by employees who do come to work even though they hurt. AAPM reports that back pain alone in workers ages 45 to 60 costs employers $7.4 billion/year.