Thursday, January 20, 2011

American Pain Foundation: Pain Monitor 2011

January 2011


FDA LogoTransmucosal Tablets Approved for Breakthrough Cancer Pain
The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of immediate-release Abstral (fentanyl) transmucosal tablets provides a new option for managing breakthrough pain for adults with cancer.

FDA Sets Limit on Acetaminophen in Combo Pain Meds
The FDA says makers of combination prescription medications can include no more than 325 mg of acetaminophen in each tablet or capsule.

NSAID Pain Relievers Raise Heart Risks
A new study weighs in on the debate over the relative safety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), commonly used to treat joint and muscle aches and pain.

Pain Contracts Can Damage Patient Trust, Bioethics Panel Says
A group of physicians and experts on pain policy have published an article arguing that while opioid treatment contracts between patients and their physicians can be useful, they can be harmful for the patient-physician relationship unless presented in the right way, American Medical News reported.

handsGot Hand Pain? Maybe It's Mommy's Thumb
Doctors say a combination of heavier children, older new mothers, cribs that are lower to the floor, and frequent scrolling on smart phones are putting the thumb out of alignment with the rest of the hand.

Romantic Love Eases Physical Pain
We have all heard that love hurts, but research shows romantic love can be a potent natural painkiller.

Chronic Pain Affects Memory, Concentration
New research shows people who live with chronic spinal pain experience difficulty with mental concentration and problems with remembering information.


10,000 Voices Campaign
The 10,000 Voices campaign needs you to add your voice to the Virtual Wall of Voices. Your stories of struggle, hope and inspiration will be used to illustrate the range of experiences with pain management in America and inspire others to overcome the barriers that they face in their pain journey.

Uniting our voices, WE ARE conquering pain together!

APF Action Network (AN)
Pain Pathways Winter 2011 edition features five APF Action Network leaders! The issue highlights the varied perspectives of those affected by pain: caregivers, people living with pain and their health care practitioners.  From condition specific articles to articles focusing on treatment options, advocacy and the use of art and creativity to help manage pain, the magazine did a wonderful job of presenting a broad view of so many issues.  Leaders highlighted are: 

  • Caregiver, Doug Cook and his wife, Radene Marie Cook, a person living with pain are both AN leaders in Southern California
  • Teresa Shaffer is a person with pain and AN leader in West Virginia.
  • Kathryn Borgenicht, MD is a health care provider and AN leader in Montana, and;
  • Ellen Smith is a person with pain and AN leader in Rhode Island. 

Please visit your local bookstore or order your copy on

Announcing a New Leader in OK
We are very pleased to announce the addition of Amy Padgett-McCue, a person with pain, in Oklahoma to the APF Action Network state leadership.  Welcome Amy!

Check the map see if there are leaders in your state.  If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a leader please review the information on the Roles of Leaders page of our website and apply! Together we can make a difference!

There are many ways to get involved with the Action Network. For example, you can become a member of APF for important news and information, fill out an advocacy survey or contact your state leader to support their efforts.


PainAid Online Support Community
PainAid provides chat rooms (regularly scheduled chats on different issues), discussion boards (threaded message boards on a broad variety of topics), and the Ask the Experts feature (pose questions to licensed health care professionals). PainAid is staffed by highly qualified volunteers with a range of backgrounds, all of whom either live with chronic pain or care for people who do. Visit PainAid for more information.

Voices of People with Pain
If you are a person with pain or know someone who lives with pain, we invite you to share your story. View others' stories or share your own.

Webinar and Teleconference Replays
All APF webinars and teleconferences are archived for on-demand viewing. Make sure to check out our chat transcripts and join us at PainAid for future daily and special chats. Sign up to receive notifications of future webinars and teleconferences.

Other ways to get involved in our efforts:


The American Pain Foundation “Spotlights” are educational campaigns that highlight specific pain conditions or populations of people that experience pain. Spotlights bring focus to an issue offering a variety of ways for people to learn more about the topic, gain support, and take action. Click here for more information about our spotlights.

End of Life

Putting Palliative Care into Perspective
Earlier this month, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards, died, six years after diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. Shortly before her death, Ms. Edwards announced that she intended to forgo additional cancer therapy. Shortly before her death, Ms. Edwards announced that she intended to forgo additional cancer therapy in favor of treatment aimed at addressing her comfort and quality of life in the time she had remaining.

Medicare to Cover End-of-Life Planning Talks
Starting Jan. 1, Medicare will reimburse physician discussions with patients about end-of-life treatment options.


Study Links Obesity to Greater Pain, Weakness in Fibromyalgia Patients
Obese fibromyalgia patients suffer more severe symptoms such as pain, reduced flexibility and sleep disturbances than those of normal weight, a new study indicates.


Pain Syndrome Affects More US Veterans
Complex regional pain syndrome can cause lifelong medical nightmares for some adults and even children, usually after a mild trauma inflames the nerves, causing pain that never shuts off — even after the original injury heals.


Recognizing Symptoms of Shingles
Shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same one that causes chickenpox.

Vaccine Cuts Risk of Shingles
Older adults who had the shingles vaccine were half as likely to develop the painful condition than unvaccinated adults in a new study. The results suggest the vaccine could prevent tens of thousands of shingles cases each year if it were offered to everyone who is eligible, the authors say.


Alpha-Blockers, Antibiotics Best for Chronic Pelvic Pain
Antibiotics and alpha-adrenergic antagonists have the strongest evidence for efficacy in chronic prostatitis chronic pelvic pain syndrome, with somewhat less benefit seen with anti-inflammatory drugs, a meta-analysis showed.

Eliminate Codeine for Pediatric Pain Relief
The chorus of voices against the use of codeine in pediatric patients is getting louder throughout the United States and Canada. In an editorial published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), two physicians suggested that codeine—which has been a standard of pain care long before rigorous clinical testing was required—should no longer be used and that its active metabolite, morphine, be used instead.


Acupressure Reduces Fatigue in Cancer Patients
Acupressure is a touch technique used by many massage therapists, and has been shown to effect numerous health benefits, including pain relief and weight gain in premature infants. New Research shows self-acupressure can increase energy in patients experiencing cancer-related fatigue.


2011 International Research Summer School at the International Observatory on End of Life
This program in Lancaster, England, is a one- or two-week interdisciplinary program that offers an advanced introduction to social research methods relevant to end of life care. The early bird rate deadline is Monday, February 28, 2011.


Neuro Film Festival
People who have loved ones affected by a brain disorder or have been affected by a disorder themselves are encouraged to share their story by submitting a short video to the 2011 Neuro Film Festival competition. The contest aims to raise awareness through video about the need to raise more money for research into the prevention, treatment and cure of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, autism, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The deadline for video submissions is February 15, 2011. Winners of the 2011 Neuro Film Festival could win up to $1,000 and a chance to attend the Neuro Film Festival in Hawaii on April 10, 2011, in conjunction with the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd Annual Meeting.



RSD/CRPS Awareness Quilt Project
An ongoing project to raise awareness about chronic pain conditions, especially RSD.  The organizers are gathering quilt squares to make a pain awareness quilt that will travel across the United States. For more information, visit the Facebook page.

February 28, 2011
Rare Disease Day

March 7 – 13, 2011
National Sleep Awareness Week® 2011

June 5, 2011
National Cancer Survivors Day


February 10-12, 2011
Musculoskeletal Disorders and Chronic Pain
Los Angeles

March 24-27, 2011
American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting
Washington, DC

For more events happening around the country or to submit an event of your own, please visit our Events page.

Thank you to our medical/science editor Robert Twillman, PhD.

The Pain Monitor is a monthly electronic publication of the American Pain Foundation. We want to keep you abreast of recent media attention given to topics that are related to pain care or living with pain. This information is provided for educational and information purposes only. Readers may wish to print the information and discuss it with their doctor. Always consult with health care providers before starting or changing any treatment. Above are links to news articles, feature stories and timely information that have come to our attention. Please pass them along to others who might benefit. We encourage you to send any comments you may have to the authors or publishers directly. Every voice counts when working towards improving pain care in our nation.

The American Pain Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that relies upon private donations to fund its programs, services and distribution of educational materials. There are millions of people who live with unrelieved chronic pain. If you can help, please make a donation to the American Pain Foundation. For other ways you can support APF’s work, please visit our website at

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