Osteoarthritis and Physical Activity – Are Patients Doing Their Part?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition whose prevalence increases with age. Although there is currently no “cure” for OA, treatment often focuses on pain control and maintenance of joint function. The hallmarks of joint function maintenance are weight loss (if appropriate), assistive devices (e.g., walker, cane), and therapeutic exercise. Therapeutic exercise regimens for OA typically… Read more »

Problematic Behavior: Difficult Conversations, Part II

This is the second article in a series of eight articles by Ilene Robeck, M.D. regarding difficult conversations a primary care provider may have when dealing with patients with chronic pain. This series is meant to be a guide for primary care providers facing these situations.  Difficult situation #2: A patient’s behavior becomes increasingly irritable,… Read more »

Introduction to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a neuropathic pain condition that can often be challenging to diagnose and even more challenging to treat. It is a condition in which the patient feels a response to an injury-producing painful experience over and over again, at the same level of acuity as if the painful event had… Read more »

Opioid REMS Becomes a Reality

When last covered the topic of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA’s) intended plans for curbing opioid risk, we felt confident one thing was for sure – that education would likely be a key ingredient in the ultimate implemented solution. On Tuesday, April 19th, 2011, a press conference was held to announce the White House’s National Prescription… Read more »

Recommendations for Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) medications in the United States. It is strictly classified as a centrally acting analgesic and antipyretic agent, is a common treatment of mild to moderate pain, and is often a recommended first-line of analgesic therapy. Acetaminophen is sometimes combined with opioid medications (e.g. codeine, hydrocodone,… Read more »

Update on Postherpetic Neuralgia

Approximately 1 million cases of herpes zoster, or shingles, occur each year in the United States. Lifetime risk of this common condition is estimated to be close to 30% or higher, with age-adjusted, sex-specific rates higher in women than in men (3.9 vs. 3.2 per 1000 person-years, respectively).1 Pain is the most common symptom associated… Read more »

The Role of the Patient-Health Care Provider Relationship in Chronic Pain Management

The key to understanding patients’ needs for pain management is context. The tool to help achieve that understanding is communication. It is becoming more widely accepted that the Medical Home is an important foundation of effective and concerted medical care. Further, an effective relationship between health care providers in Primary Care (PCPs) and their patients is recognized as a critical… Read more »

Herbal Remedies and Pain

Herbal remedies are medications made directly from the leaves, stems, roots and/or seeds of plants. They are also known as natural, complimentary, alternative, homeopathic and holistic medications or preparations. Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years by all major cultures of the world. In fact the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that herbal… Read more »

How to Develop a Medication Safety Plan

Medications are usually a very helpful part of the treatment of pain. However, when used improperly, harm or death can be the result. You can protect yourself and your family if you have a medication safety plan. Here are some of the more important aspects of medication safety to help you create you own medication… Read more »