newsmortar & pestle
Volume VI, No. 2: February, 2016 - A Monthly Newsletter Summarizing Current CRPS/RSD Research
gold line

Hello, and welcome to this month's issue of the Newsletter, which each month brings you selections from the latest research results in the related fields of complex regional pain syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and the pain components of such illnesses as cancer, peripheral neuropathy, phantom limb pain, diabetic neuropathy, certain types of headaches, etc.

This month's art selection is called "How Are You?", by Helen Harley of Dorchester, UK (crayons on watercolor paper; 11.6x8.3"). She writes "...a question which is asked all the time when you are a chronic pain sufferer. One has the choice of sharing far too much with people, or just saying 'not too bad' or something similar..."
Note: Every newsletter features a different image from the Pain Exhibit, "an educational, visual arts exhibit from artists with chronic pain with their art expressing some facet of the pain experience." (As always, please click on the image to see the full-sized original in a new tab/window.) I appreciate that these images are supplied by the artists at no charge.

I hope everyone who's battling the frigid weather (like I am) is managing to stay warm and away from the pain-inducing cold weather as much as possible. The topics this month span a variety of issues, as usual, ranging from difficulties when visiting ERs (#1) to what strains of medical marijuana are best for various symptoms (#3). The CDC's proposed opioid prescribing guidelines are still giving insufficient voice to chronic pain patients, and several articles address this ongoing problem (#4, #5, #7).

The structure of a receptor involved in processing pain signals has been elucidated, enabling new targets in drug discovery for chronic (and acute) pain (#6). An attorney has written an excellent guide to the law and CRPS, especially in WC cases (#2). In S. Korea, a patient's CRPS was totally resolved using bee venom in a technique called pharmacopuncture (#8). Finally, a CRPS patient has written a useful outline of traveling with our illness (#11).

The PowerPoint presentation this month is called "Adjuvant Analgesics", and covers many type of analgesic drugs/plants used in conjunction with more typical medications.

Links to this Newsletter and many other features from the main site, especially brand-new articles on CRPS, are featured in our Facebook and Google Plus representations of the main site. Personally, I'm not much of a social media person, but this has proven to be worth the effort, as it spreads the word about the site and what it has to offer. Please check it out (and please "Like" it or add us to your circles!) occasionally; it's interesting to see what topics get the most attention and what other CRPS people have to say. You can find our FB page here! If you go there, please do "Like" and/or "Circle" us! Remember, many articles are posted to the FB and Google+ pages that don't make it to a newsletter, so it's a good way to stay ahead of the curve on brand new articles and studies on CRPS/RSD research.

I hope this newsletter is useful to you. Remember that the site has an archive of all past newsletters, so you can look back to any issue since the first! In fact, here's a direct link. The PowerPoint presentations are also archived, and can be accessed from the left menu throughout the site, or right here. Recall, too, that if you'd like to see one of the monthly PowerPoint slideshows but don't own the software, here's a very good, free viewer, courtesy of Microsoft:

Please let me know if you have suggestions, corrections, effusive praise, or want to tell me anything else! I'm particularly interested in suggestions for new CRPS-related topics that I may not have covered or even touched on. Please don't feel weird about suggesting new ideas to me - I'm just one CRPS patient, and I'm grateful for any help in identifying new avenues of hope for our community.

Webmaster, Researcher, Writer, Editor, (& responsible for all errors).
Excellent Powerpoint Presentation!
Adjuvant Analgesics
Please click above and "Like" and/or "Circle" us!!
A monthly feature! what are these?
For common medical abbreviations, like Dx, Rx, Tx, etc. please look here.
The most common ones are Rx = prescription; Dx = diagnosis; and Tx = treatment
Title of Article
1 The Danger of Treating ER
Patients as Drug Seekers
view Many of us have ER horror stories, but this woman's experiences are just incredible.
2 Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and the Law view If you're dealing with any legal issues related to your CRPS, including Work. Comp., you'll want to check out this excellent article written by an attorney.
3 The Strongest Weed for Pain Relief view Are you using (or considering using) medical marijuana, but don't know what strain(s) to go for? Here's a short guide.
4 Treat the Patient, Not the Label view With the ongoing controversy about opioid prescribing guidelines by the CDC, it's good to review the terms tossed about so easily.
5 I’m dependent on narcotics; that
doesn’t mean I’m an addict
view Salon just published an article by a chronic pain patient who feels shame just for going into her drugstore.
6 Blueprint of Protein Linked to Pain Discovered view Researchers at Duke have solved the structure of a receptor involved in pain processing, opening the door to new therapies.
7 CDC Over-Counted Opioid Overdoses view In its rush to formulate its new opioid guidelines, the CDC over-counted opioid overdoses.
8 Bee venom therapy administered to a patient suffering from CRPS proved to be effective view Researchers in S. Korea have discovered that bee venom pharmacopuncture (I'd never heard of it!) resolved the CRPS symptoms of a 29-year-old man.
9 Chronic Pain Patients Overusing OTC Meds view Despite knowing the dangers, many chronic pain patients use OTC meds in higher doses and for longer times than are recommended.
10 Teaching the Physician About CRPS view It currently takes about four doctors to get a Dx of CRPS. We're always having to educate physicians about our illness.
11 My Story: Traveling with Chronic Pain & CRPS view CRPS people generally avoid traveling, due to the stresses that normal people find difficult. Here's a story of a woman who made a major trip a goal to be reached.
12 My Story: The Suicide Dance view CRPS patients are at high risk for suicide - more so than for any other disease - and here's a fascinating piece about one person's experiences with the thought of it.
Copyright ©2016 - T. Howard Black, Ph.D.
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