CBS News | CBS News Sunday Morning
importance of this article to TMJ
Sufferers is the contention that if a patient is free of pain, the chances are
that recovery will be expedited.
Whether this is true or not we do not know. Is this the Drug Companies campaign for the use of more pain
killers, or is this validated independent scientific studies?
We know from personal experience that
TMJ Patients generally eschew the use of strong drugs. However, have they been doing
themselves and injustice or are the side effects and potential addiction worth
the avoidance of such medicine?
It Is Treated Immediately Can Affect Its Future
least one doctor thinks the boomer generation simply will not tolerate the kinds
of discomforts their parents and grandparents tolerated...
NEW YORK, Feb.
(CBS) According to a new CBS
poll, 1 in every 5 Americans reports suffering from chronic pain, and 7 in 10
of those people say it interferes with their daily lives. CBS News Sunday
Morning Correspondent Martha Teichner reports.
contacts, including Web site information, see the list at the end of this story.)
specialists know that, historically, pain has been under-treated, even
dismissed, because it's invisible. There is no scientific way to measure it. It
mysteriously continues after the injury has healed or the disease is over, and
because doctors didn't know what to do about it.
there is some good news. As of Jan. 1 of this year, medical facilities risk
losing their accreditation if their doctors and nurses don't assess a patient's
pain regularly, just the way they record other vital signs, and then control
that pain to the best of their ability. The new standards have been described
as the "Bill of Rights" for pain sufferers.
not only will these standards help patients be more comfortable, pain
researchers know that patients recover much faster if they are in little or no
pain. Pain researchers know another thing, too: that left untreated or
under-treated, acute pain can be transformed into chronic, permanent pain.
can become damaged, causing the spinal cord to literally rewire itself. It then
sends false signals to the brain that there is pain, even after there shouldn't
be. That is why stopping the pain before that process can begin is so crucial.
pain is the hardest to treat. But at places like the University of California
San Francisco Pain Management Center, pain specialists go a long way to making
like Pamela Palmer use an arsenal of weapons to fight intractable pain. Small
amounts of opiates like morphine delivered to the source of the pain (rather
than large amounts taken orally), nerve blocks, physical therapy and
psychology, even acupuncture and bio-feedback. They know how pain can ruin a
person's life, and they will do anything and everything they can, not to cure
it, but to keep it under control.
also has a Pain Clinical Research Center where Dr. Michael Rowbotham and his
colleagues head up several pain research studies. One of them looks at shingles
-- the agonizing condition caused later in life by the chicken pox virus. The
purpose of the study is to ascertain why some shingles patients recover
completely and have no pain once the virus has run its course, and others
develop what's called "post-herpetic" pain (chronic nerve pain that
remains after the shingles condition is over).
nerve damage pain rarely responds to opiodes like morphine, researchers hope
that by finding some answers to the causes of shingles pain, they may have
answers to other nerve damage pain, and some alternative drugs to treat them.
there are the snails -- yes, a lowly snail may provide one answer to the
question of precision pain relief.
Basbaum heads the Department of Anatomy at the University of California San
Francisco, and he hopes that the same toxins that snails use to paralyze their
prey can be modified for human use. He is working toward that end with a Salt
Lake City, Utah, company called Cognetix. Cognetix Inc. discovers and develops
novel therapeutics derived from marine organisms.
do they work in a human or an animal?" Basbaum asks. "Because the same
receptor that exists in the prey of the snail...exists in my spinal cord and
your spinal cord. The trick is to find the right dose. The good news is that
the basic science of pain mechanisms have now identified a slew of new targets,
new therapeutic targets. That's exciting."
fields of pain management and pain research have grown tremendously in the last
decade or so, and they may well expand exponentially as the almost 80 million
baby boomers march toward old age. Dr. Palmer thinks the boomer generation
simply will not tolerate the kinds of discomforts their parents and
grandparents tolerated, and that fact will be one of the engines driving pain
other is money. According to the CBS News poll, 65 percent of Americans suffering
from chronic pain take prescription or other medications daily. It's now big
business, and money talks.
the University of California San Francisco Pain Management Center Web site at
(415) 885-PAIN (7246)
of California San Francisco Pain Clinical Research Center (for
on shingles and/or post-herpetic neuralgia, or if you have shingles and wish to
be considered as a candidate for Dr. Michael Rowbotham's study.)
South Calvert Street, Suit 2700
Chronic Pain Association
site: http:// www.theacpa.org
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