1. 1/23/13- Opioids and Mental Health

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    from Arizona Pain Specialists / Added

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    High doses of opioids can lead to mental health issues. A new report on news-medical.net cites a study in the Journal of Pain that showed patients who are prescribed higher doses of opioids have higher rates of psychiatric problems. The study examined twenty six thousand adults age 18 and older diagnosed with low back pain. Sixty one percent of these adults were prescribed opioids. Of the sixty one percent, almost nine percent were prescribed higher doses in their final prescription, nearly 180mg a day- seven times higher than patients on lower doses. The study also found chronic pain patients with psychiatric complications were more likely to be prescribed opioids than patients without mental health problems. Dr. Tory McJunkin of Arizona Pain Specialists had this to say about the findings. The authors of the study also found a correlation between patients who were prescribed higher doses of opioids to be repeated users of medical services. Now it’s your turn. We want to know your thoughts. Please comment and join in the discussion.

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    • 1/28/13 - Chronic Pain Coping Strategies

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      from Arizona Pain Specialists / Added

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      Coping with Chronic Pain is not always as simple as the prescription of a drug. Many people find difficulty coping with long lasting chronic pain. The American Psychological Association, led by Dr. Nancy Molitor has a few guidelines patients can follow when trying to manage the pain. They tell patients to manage their stress, use positive thinking, be active, find support and consult with a professional as the best ways to find relief. The Mayo Clinic recently published a video report on coping with chronic pain. Anesthesiologist Dr. Michael Hooten, of the Mayo Clinic had this to say about chronic pain management: Arizona Pain Specialists Dr. Tory McJunkin also weighed in on this topic. Dr. Mcjunkin explained what he says to his patients who deal with chronic pain. Now it’s your turn. We want to know your thoughts. Please comment and join in the discussion.

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      • 1/17/13- Opioid Over Prescription Kills

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        Opioid over prescriptions are leading to deaths. An article in the LA times reported there were three thousand seven hundred and thirty three deaths from prescription drugs from 2006 through 2011 in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Diego counties. The report said that 47 percent of those deaths were caused soley by prescription drugs. Now it’s your turn. We want to know your thoughts. Please comment and join in the discussion below.

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        • Long-term Term Opioid Use, Non-cancer Pain Patients - Pain Doctor.com

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          from Arizona Pain Specialists / Added

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          A great debate has started about the use of opioids in relationship to cancer pain patients. Painmedicinenews.com reports that in July of 2012, 37 Pain physicians signed a petition calling for the FDA to require ridding the word moderate from opioid treatment for non-cancer pain patients. The petition wants to limit opioid use for those patients only having severe pain. The petition recommends 100 milligrams of morphine daily for no more than 90 days per patient. The petition states: “Unfortunately, many clinicians are under the false impression that chronic opioid therapy (COT) is an evidence-based treatment for chronic noncancer pain and that dose-related toxicities can be avoided by slow upward titration. These misperceptions lead to overprescribing and high dose prescribing.” In response to opioid use, Arizona Pain Specialists, Dr. Tory McJunkin had this to say about opioids and the harm they represent: "There are over 15,000 opioid related deaths per year. Experts say the numbers continue to skyrocket. Narcotic medication does play a role in pain management, and oftentimes are beneficial for many patients. Research shows narcotics can lead to complications and even death, especially in high doses. "

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          • 1/7/13- PRP Therapy

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            Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, also known as PRP, is a relatively new treatment that is getting a lot of play in pain practices across the nation and around the world. Dr. Tory McJunkin of Arizona Pain Specialists described this new therapy and how it impacts pain. “Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is very exciting therapy that helps heal tendon and joint injuries and puts an end to certain types of pain.” A New York Times article confirmed Dr. McJunkin’s point of view. In a story about PRP therapy, the Times sat down with Stanford University’s Dr. Allan Mishra who said: “It’s a better option for problems that don’t have a great solution — it’s nonsurgical and uses the body’s own cells to help it heal. I think it’s fair to say that platelet-rich plasma has the potential to revolutionize not just sports medicine but all of orthopedics. It needs a lot more study, but we are obligated to pursue this.” The pursuit continues in a report by Bloomberg News that indicates PRP therapy is helping both superstar and everyday athletes with their pain. New York University Dr. Dennis Cardone said: “Athletes are always seeking an edge and, at an elite level, it makes sense for them to look for any possible shortcut to healing. But too often the newer procedures are done in people who don’t need that physical edge, without good evidence they actually work.” The article in Bloomberg went on to say that although the procedure has not been backed by significant research the results thus far have been promising for pain relief.

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            • 1/2/13- Opioid Use

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              from Arizona Pain Specialists / Added

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              Opioid compliance has been a hot topic at several pain practices across the country. Many Dr.’s have growing concerns about the amount of opioids they are prescribing. In response to a letter to PainMedicineNews.com, Dr. Paul Lynch and Dr. Tory McJunkin of Arizona Pain Specialists, explain the 10-point checklist they use to prescribe opioids. “The 0- to 10-point pain scale is used to determine if the patient has moderate to severe pain. If not, other, non-opioid medications would be more appropriate. Upon examination of a new patient, unless the patient has severe pain, we initially try conservative therapy and non-narcotic medication before prescribing opioids.” Both Dr. McJunkin and Dr. Lynch conclude in their letter that opioids play a vital role in pain management, but also can present substantial risks to the patient and practitioner if prescribed incorrectly. American Academy of Pain Management Board director, Dr. Alfred Anderson, also discussed the safe use of opioids on Let’s Talk Pain. “The job of the physician that’s prescribing the medication is to monitor how you do each time you come in and it’s very important that the doctor see you frequently especially when you first start the medication. So that we can see what kind of effects it’s actually having on you.” Dr. Anderson also stressed the role of conducting a risk assessment to prevent diversion and abuse of pain medication.

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