STUDY SHOWS THAT OPIODS MAY NOT BE EFFECTIVE IN TREATING NEUROPATHIC PAIN
posted: Jan 27, 2016.
A new study suggests that opioid prescriptions for patients with neuropathic pain (NeP), may not improve their physical function or disability. In fact, results from the study — conducted by the University of Alberta and published in Pain Medicine — indicate that opioid use could be harmful when it comes to physical recovery for NeP patients. “We studied patients with neuropathic pain from nerve injuries such as diabetic neuropathy and pinched nerves, and the ones who weren't prescribed any opioids had statistically lower disability and higher physical functioning scores," said Geoff Bostick, PhD, lead author of the study.
Results showed that patients prescribed opioid treatment did not report greater physical functioning or lower disability than patients who were not prescribed opioids — even after the results were adjusted for disease severity. The improvements in disability and physical functioning scores from baseline and 12 months for all groups were "modest and may not be clinically significant," authors reported. For those who have chronic pain but are medically cleared for physical activity, a graded approach to recovery is suggested, according to Dr. Bostick. “I tell patients to walk until they are at 50% of their tolerance—walk and stop before the pain gets too bad. Each week, walking time is gradually increased. Over time, this tolerance will slowly increase and so will physical function."
Source: MPR [1/25/16] via Dr. Allen Jacobs
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