Friday, June 29, 2012

What's the real story on the new fibromyalgia and cannabis studies?

There are stories all over the web this week about a new study by Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles that confirms at least 13% of folks with fibromyalgia are using marijuana for pain control.  Now, that is quite interesting to me, because it has been determined by previous studies that about 19.8 percent of U.S. adults -- 43.4 million people -- were smokers in 2007. That was a percentage point below the 2006 figure.  

It seems strange to me that a lower percentage of people with fibromyalgia (who are in chronic, excruciating pain) would use a medication that has been proven to significantly reduce their suffering than the general population uses.  In other words, something just doesn't sound right here.

So, I've included links to a few articles on this new study.  You can check them out and determine for yourself if you think the new study is valid.  I don't know, but I think the results beg for more research.

Marijuana Use for Fibromyalgia Pain

About - News & Issues - ‎45 minutes ago‎
By Adrienne Dellwo, GuideJune 29, 2012 A new study examining the use of marijuana for fibromyalgia pain revealed that 13% of people at one Canadian pain center were using some form of cannabis (the plant that produces marijuana.) ...

Fibromyalgia Pot Stats Are Crap

Cannabis Culture - ‎11 hours ago‎
CANNABIS CULTURE - Dr Mary-Ann Fitzcharles of McGill University Health Centre released a fibromyalgia medical marijuana study that's beyond bogus. People with fibromyalgia actually use cannabis less than the national average, but that's not in their ...

Illegal Marijuana Used by 10 Per Cent of Fibromyalgia Patients: Study

Cannabis Culture - ‎Jun 25, 2012‎
By QMI Agency - Monday, June 25 2012 People who suffer from a medical disorder that causes chronic pain are buying marijuana on the street for relief, a new study has revealed. The study, led by Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, a rheumatologist at the McGill ...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Clinical Trials for chronic pain patients

There are hundreds of clinical trials being held throughout the U.S. and the world for individuals struggling with chronic pain.  I am going to list some places on the web where you may find information on specific clinical trials such as whether they are recruiting, where they are located, and requirements for test subjects.  You may reach these sites by following the links below.  These links will give you the information on over a thousand clinical trials.

National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Trials

U.S. and Worldwide Clinical Trials

Monday, June 25, 2012

Depression - it's not just feeling down

Blue Randomness: Depression - it's not just feeling down:

Don't get me wrong, I do not mean I've been in a depressive episode my entire life—I've had periods, sometimes years long, that have been quite pleasant and productive. I've held very good jobs, been creative, lively, and happy. But those periods when I am depressed can be hellish. They have also been torturous to those that love me. I am not the only one who worries that “this time” might be the time when I don't come back from a major depressive episode.

 I have been struggling with depression for much of my adult life. I am technically diagnosed as bipolar, but I have not been subjected to...

A very good reason for non-lethal alternatives to opioids

from  MyHealthNewsDaily
Along with the rise in overdose deaths from prescription pain medication, there has been a rise in the percentage of people who regularly abuse the drugs, ...follow link above.

HCAN comments on Supreme Court ruling regarding healthcare

This is an email I just received from Health Care for America Now (HCAN).  You can make up your own mind about it, but I thought it needed to be shared.  HCAN is an advocacy group created to support the idea that all Americans deserve and need to have adequate health insurance coverage.

What’s at the heart of health care reform?

At every rally, in each blog post, in every comment we’ve made to the press or email we’ve sent you, HCAN has talked about how Obamacare expands coverage to more than 30 million people and eliminates the worst insurance company abuses.

We don’t talk about the so-called “mandate” because it’s a means to an end – it’s one of the ways everyone gets health care and it’s how we stop the big insurance companies from discriminating against people who are sick.

But the mandate isn't what Obamacare is all about, even if that’s what the right-wing says to stir up anger against the Affordable Care Act.

Please take a moment to read our latest blog post in the Huffington Post about what’s at stake with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Help us spread the truth.

Please share it on Facebook and Tweet about it.


Will O'Neill
Health Care for America Now

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Medicare and Medicaid Services put kibosh on TENS for back pain

WASHINGTON -- Medicare will no longer cover most uses of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic low back pain, according to a memo issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Reimbursement for TENS for low back pain will be available only when patients are participating in a randomized, controlled trial of the technology's clinical effectiveness, CMS officials wrote in the final decision, which was released Friday and is effective immediately.

"TENS is not reasonable and necessary for the treatment of [chronic low back pain]," they wrote.

Currently, Medicare pays for FDA-approved TENS equipment and supplies when prescribed by a physician for chronic intractable pain and reimburses physicians and physical therapists for evaluating patients' suitability for the treatment, which is typically used at home.

Depression crushes the will

I am posting this on my other blog, Blue Randomness, as well as here:

It has obviously been some time since I've written anything on this blog.  I have been struggling with a severe case of clinical depression over the past months, and I have just not had the energy, the will (if you will), to write.  I am feeling better the last couple of weeks, so I am going to try to write something on the blog at least once a week for the next month and see how it goes.

Have any of you ever struggled with a major depressive or bipolar disorder?  If so, please feel free to attach your comments to this article. I know I am not alone in this and would love to hear from those of you who have also experienced it.

The role of benign joint hypermobility in the pain experience in Juvenile Fibromyalgia: an observational study

 – Source: Pediatric Rheumatology Online Journal, Jun 15, 2012

Background: Juvenile Fibromyalgia (JFM) is characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, and approximately 40% of children and adolescents with JFM also suffer from benign joint hypermobility (HM). It is not currently known if the presence of HM affects the pain experience of adolescents with JFM.

The objective of this study was to examine whether there were any differences in self-reported pain intensity and physiologic pain sensitivity between JFM patients with and without joint HM.

[Note: the full text of this article is available free here. Other research, in women with hypermobile joints (able to extend joints beyond what is considered 'normal'), found that 75% of them also suffer from migraines (“'Loose Joints’ Highly Associated with migraine.” Statistics also indicate that joint hypermobility often co-occurs with orthostatic intolerance and/or chronic fatigue syndrome.)]