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Severe Chronic Pain Lowers Life Expectancy
cweinbl posted:
Previous research has demonstrated a clearly negative influence of chronic pain on health. Now, a new study portrays a profound link between severe chronic pain and death; inflicting nearly a 70% greater mortality risk than even cardiovascular disease.

Even after adjusting for various confounding sociodemographic factors and effects of long-term illness, patients with severe chronic pain had a 49% greater risk of death compared with all-cause mortality and a 68% greater risk of death compared with all cardiovascular-disease-related deaths.

The most critical information to take away from this research is that withholding appropriate pain medication is a virtual death sentence. Physicians who "don't believe in" using narcotic pain medication must read this comprehensive new research study. By withholding appropriate treatment, these physicians are sentencing some of their patients to an early death.

Secondary to this, families and friends of severe chronic pain patients must never try to dissuade the patient from using all appropriate treatments and medications to reduce pain. Convincing such a patient to avoid narcotics, if and when they are appropriate, is equivalent to pushing them into an early grave.

Instead, physicians and families must encourage the chronic pain patient to employ each and every possible treatment, including comprehensive pain management programs and powerful pain medications. It is no longer a matter of making someone more comfortable. It's a matter of life and death.

This new research is comprehenisve, vetted and validated. The methodology is convincing. The group sizes are well over minimum levels.

Read the entire article here:

REFERENCE: Torrance N, Elliott AM, Lee AJ, Smith BH. Severe chronic pain is associated with increased 10 year mortality. A cohort record linkage study. Eur J Pain. 2010(Apr);14(4):380-386 [abstract here >.
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greg8846 responded:
Hi Charles;
I think these new studies comming out has just proven profound impact of severe chronic pain. Our bodies can handle only so much pain for a certain amount of time. For lack of a better term our bodies are similar to that of a water heater
once the water gets so hot the relief valve will blow, our bodies
do the same things they react as with cardiac problems as well as strokes from un-controlled blood pressure causing strokes from severe chronic pain. Again some doctor's would rather put there patients in harms way versus losing their license's. Or that is the excuse they use. And yes there again the stroke will be blamed on eating habits or some other problem when we know Chronic pain can be deadly. Charles thank you so much for the information that a lot of have known for years but not able to prove because of financial burdens. Fantastic reading to.

Greg Armstrong
flowerc13 replied to greg8846's response:
Hi, Greg thank you for posting this,my personal opiopion is that yes, a great deal of pain plays a big part of havoc on our body, and heart, sometimes common sense just has to kick, and realize that that is what happens. but anyhoo, i found this really helpful to read thank you LIz
greg8846 replied to flowerc13's response:
Charles wrote the thread i just added my thoughts to it because it not fair the way that Chronin Pain Patients are
treated. Were labeled addicts and drug seekers. That is
what really irritates me to no end. Well take care a i will write more later. Ihave a appt this morning with my doc. He real good so i get along great with him.

dee2W responded:
thank You for this article, i have been having pain in my limbs when I wake up, it feels like pins and needles, you know that asleep feeling , but it lasts for hours.
I was in a bad car wreck 3 years ago and have been on almost everything that you can think of, but lately , i guess my doc has been in the same frame of mind as most Drs i guess, so my usual treatment of injections has been stopped. i have lost 3 inches total since my accident, several bones in my c and t spine were broken in my accident, now i sit at home in pain every day, my extended family wants me to get off my meds , but what they don't understand is that every day living is IMPOSIBLE with out my pain medication, so i get dubbed a drug addict by them and those around me, just because i have to take them , does not mean i want too. this article really helped put my mind at ease a bit , that I am not the only one out there that feels this way.
one article will not satisfy my friends and family, but it sure helped me, and that is all that really matters
cweinbl replied to dee2W's response:
Dee, screw your extended family who consider you a "drug addict." The next time they are in chronic severe pain, they can be a hero and buck up (or, in reality, watch them beg for medication). Why remain in needless pain just to serve the ignorance of some family members? Do yourself a favor and disregard the ignorance.

Considering your damage, I'm not surprised that you are in chronic pain. And, it's likely that your condition will become degenerative.

One of the best ways to manage your situation is with a comprehensive pain management program. There are dozens of treatments short of surgery, including injections, traction, decompression, exercises, Yoga, meditation, systematic relaxation, accupuncture, PT, TENS, kinesiotherapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, combinations of medications, spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal infusion pump, etc.

In terms of medication, the key is to discover which combinations of medications work best for your unique body chemistry. The operative word is "combination." This can include both long and short-acting narcotics, along with an anti-depressant (to maximize Seratonin) and (in your case) an anti-convulsant, to inhibit neuropathic pain. More often than not, chronic pain patients respond best to using a long-acting narcotic as your mainstay (Kadian, Oxycontin, Fentanyl Transdermal, etc.) and also a short-acting drug (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, etc.) for breakthrough pain. With chronic pain that has neuropathic and nociceptive components, three or four medications used together can far outperform any of the drugs used alone. To accomplish this, you require a physician willing to let you try many different medications.

The key to managing chronic pain is with the complete arsenal of treatments. The slight benefit obtained by one or two options can become multiplied into significant relief with the use of several added options. Discover which treatments and medications work best and manage your pain better. Good luck.
greg8846 replied to dee2W's response:
Hi Dee;
You are much better never and I mean never tell your family anything. First off it is you business what you do and when you do it.If they ask how you are. I would say fanstatic how are you put the monkey on there back. Then if they decide to
nose be polite and screw off. I don't think you should worry about what they say. You should pursue all means of keeping your pain control under the best control possible. You don't need there okay to do anything. To be honest with you i despise family that can't keep there mouths shut. Well you stay on what ever works for you the best. Good luck.

Greg Armstrong
greeninyork responded:
My husband is constanly harassing me about my pain meds. He makes me feel like a junkie.... It is so frustrating. I will be printing out this article and leaving it for him to read!!
Surforever replied to greeninyork's response:
As a chronic pain sufferer, I think that cweinbl's comments and posts are spot on! And Dee, I too have gone through many "discussions" with friends, family members, co- workers, etc. Several times (mostly, in fact) to no avail. Some (my children mostly) understand
All I can tell the naysayers is this; The medications that I legally obtain, from a licensed Pain Management Doctor, and get filled by a Registered Pharmacist, manage my pain, and let me do my job.
I'm 47 years old and I more than hold my own with a work crew of 20 or 30 somethings.
green, if I was in your position, I would really have a chat with my wife and tell her what I truly felt. You aren't a junkie if you take pain meds, and you aren't giving up if you take them.
Quality of Life is what matters folks, because none of us knows how much quantity of life we have. I choose to live pain free, or at least with my pain managed.
One of my daughters said it best; Be who you are, live as you should, and say what you mean; the ones who matter don't mind, and the ones who mind, don't matter
Surforever replied to greg8846's response:
Right on Greg!!
An_223026 responded:
Thank you for the article. We all know that we could not live without pain meds.

Having a hobby or something fun to do is so important. We play duplicate bridge, and it requires deep concentration. This concentration helps me to think about something else but my pain. Of course this does not cover the other hours in the day but it is something that makes me get up in the morning, take a shower, and get dressed for the day.

I love music but it is imposssible to sit through a concert but I have music on all day, and that helps me. Exercise and Yoga helps - especially with music. Your are right - the pain is always there, and that is not good.

Dealing with social gatherings is the hardest. I try to just show up, put on a happy face, and leave. This is the kindest thing I can do for my family and friends and myself. I guess we all have developed ways to live with our pain but our life would be no life without pain meds to at least lower the pain a little.
katleroy replied to cweinbl's response:
Dear CWeinbl,
Thank you so much for the reply to Dee. I have been a chronic low back pain sufferer for 18 years. Including enduring 5 major back surgeries. For the first 4-5 years I shunned taking anything other than ES Vicodin for really bad days, and what a mistake that was. Finally, I decided to stop being a hero so that others didn't judge me Weak for resorting to pain meds. I have come a long way since making that decision 13 years ago and now have an implanted pain pump that disburses the bulk of my medication. Although I had complications with where the Dr.'s implanted the pump (do not put it in the back region when you are suffering from back pain since it adds NEW pain and problems I didn't have prior). I have to say the implantable pain pump has been a Godsend to me. It has alleviated at least 50% of my pain on a daily basis. Whereas I had previously been pretty much housebound I am now able to work as a Realtor on a pretty much full-time basis. I still need to lay down mid-way through the day to calm the pain, I've been able through add'tl medication to begin contributing financially to my family. I cannot tell you the shame and guilt that I've been exposed to from not only physicians, but my own family. They even hear the word morphine and they panic. I am so grateful you've posted your comments and will definitely look into some of the additional options you mention.
My only advice to those just starting their pain journey is to not wait as long as I did before I began using treatments/medications for my pain. Don't be a hero for someone who cannot even begin to understand what it is like to be in pain 24/7. Take Care of yourself since nobody else will. I can only hope that science will continue to prove the direct links to expanded medical problems when you do not treat the cause. That, and if you encounter a Dr. who won't, or doesn't believe in narcotics, to move on to another Dr. that does. I would wish my pain on very few people, but the Dr's that imply I am weak because of needing drugs for pain would be high on my list. As the saying goes... "Until you've walked a mile in my shoes, do not judge me," or something like that.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
catfather responded:
I read these posts and replies, and am in awe at how blessed I am. I have been suffering chronic abdominal and intestinal pain for 24 years -- initially based on the aftermath of a 1972 surgery. Every year, the pain gets worse -- and now it has been joined by spinal stenosis, arthritis requiring left hip replacement, and extensive arthritis in the lower back. I recently had carpal tunnel surgery as well as surgery on the stenosis in the neck. But whereas the pain is bad and getting worse, I feel blessed because I have a primary care physician whose middle name is care; he has bothered to learn about pain management in the 17-plus years of our relationship. Making all this more difficult is that I am in recovery from alcohol abuse...I have 15 years of continuous sobriety. My doctore knows this...and my AA friends know I use strong opiates to deal with the pain. Since my friends and I all are "addicts" (of alcohol), they watch me to help ensure I do not abuse the opiates. They do so partly because I have asked them to, mainly because that's how good recovering people help one another, and help themselves. Yes, there are some in AA who criticize those who use medications; they even say we're not sober. These people I ignore. I listen to the ones who truly are friends and are supportive. They and my PCP help me deal with my pain and stay sober at the same time.
annette030 replied to catfather's response:
Congratulations on your sobriety. That is a huge accomplishment.

Bless your friends who help you to stay sober.

It sounds like your pcp is a wonderful guy who takes good care of you.

Ignore the ignorant folks who do not understand how opiates can be used to truly help people.

Take care, Annette
linram responded:
Thank you, thank you so very much for allieviating so much guilt about taking prescribed meds as needed. I have fibomyalgia, RA, I was in 2 car wrecks & my back was broken-compression fracture in 2 places. I still have so much pain even though it was 7 years ago. It is scary to think of having my life-shortened ,from what I understood in your article if I take my meds as directed it will help me. I can't say it enough how much I appreciate your truth!! Thank you, you don't know how much this helps. Now if you could make my daughters understand, you have made me believe miracles are possible! Thanks, Linda

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Severe Chronic Pain Lowers Life Expectancy
Previous research has demonstrated a clearly negative influence of chronic pain on health. Now, a new study portrays a profound link ... More
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