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Are Pins or a Cast Better for a Broken Wrist?

A cast is as good as metal pins for treating a broken wrist, researchers report.

A broken wrist in which bone fragments move out of their normal alignment is called a displaced wrist fracture. After the bones are put back in place, they're typically held in position by a molded plaster cast or by pins/pla...

Few Countries Do Well Caring for the Dying

Americans don't like to dwell on dying, so maybe it isn't surprising that compared to other nations, the United States does just a middling job of providing a good death.

The United States ranked in the middle of 81 countries rated on how well their health care systems provide end-of-life care.

Only six countries — the United Kingdom, Ireland, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea and Co...

Visiting a 'Dental Fear' Clinic Can Help Improve a Child's Smile

THURSDAY, Jan. 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- If the sound of a dental drill sends shivers up your spine, you're likely in good company: Finnish researchers say that one of every two adults fear the dentist at least a little, while one in 10 are very afraid.

But the researchers added that a local dentistry program has found a novel way to turn screams into smiles, by expo...

No Side Effects From Your COVID Vaccine? Don't Worry, It's Still Working

Even if you don't have side effects from your COVID-19 vaccine, it's likely still working to protect you, a reassuring new report shows.

Many people who receive the mRNA COVID vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna experience body aches and fatigue that indicate the vaccine is triggering ...

Do You Feel Old? It Could Be Aging You

TUESDAY, Jan. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- People who believe their bodies and minds will break down with age may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, a recent study suggests.

Researchers found that older adults with a dim outlook on aging tended to report more physical health symptoms on days when they were stressed out than on less stressful days.

In contrast...

Opioid Misuse Keeps Rising Among Older Americans

The opioid addict you know might not be the college kid who has always dabbled in alcohol and drugs.

It could be your grandparent.

Opioid misuse doesn't discriminate by age — and rates are rising steadily among adults aged 55 and up, new research shows.

"You can still use recre...

Experts Issue Guidelines on Diabetes-Linked Nerve Damage

A leading medical group has updated a guideline for treating pain and numbness caused by diabetes.

The problems, which affect the hands and feet, are the result of nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy. The new guideline from the Ame...

Are Opioid Painkillers Needed Weeks After Heart Surgery? Maybe Not

Recovery from heart surgery can bring some pain. But a new study suggests patients don't need potentially addictive prescription opioids to control that post-op discomfort.

"This study shows that discharge without opioid pain medicine after cardiac surgery is extremely well tolerated...

Too Many Fertility Specialists Still Use a Painful, Useless Procedure: Study

Couples struggling to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization (IVF) sometimes are offered an often-painful procedure known as "scratching the womb" as a desperate last hope to get pregnant.

As many as one-third of IVF clinics offer the practice in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, a new survey reports. It's very likely some U.S. clinics also offer the procedure, altho...

Did Pandemic Lockdowns Worsen the Epidemic of Opioid Abuse?

Pandemic lockdowns may have led fewer Americans to seek pain treatment last year, but folks who did seek help had higher-than-usual odds of receiving dangerous opioid painkillers, a new study says.

And that could lead to a worsening of the opioid epidemic, researchers suggest.

"It is likely that more patients may have become addicted to opioids than would have been the case absent t...

Getting a Pacemaker Can Raise Odds for Opioid Abuse

People who are prescribed opioid painkillers after receiving a heart pacemaker or defibrillator may be at risk for opioid abuse -- and the higher the initial dose, the greater the risk, according to a new study.

“The significance of this study is to make other electrophysiologists aware that even a low-risk procedure like a pacemaker or a defibrillator can lead to chronic opioid use and...

Long-Haul COVID Can Include Chronic Fatigue: Study

The often debilitating condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome appears to be common among COVID-19 long-haulers.

That’s the key takeaway from a fresh look at patients who continue to struggle with severe fatigue, poor sleep, brain fog, muscle aches and pains long after their initial -- and often mild -- COVID infection has otherwise resolved.

Researchers found that nearly half...

Addictive Opioid Painkillers Might Not Be Needed After Knee Surgery

Addictive opioid painkillers aren't the only option for patients seeking relief following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee reconstruction, researchers say.

As the United States wrestles with skyrocketing rates of opioid abuse and drug overdose deaths, the findings may come as good news.

After ACL surgery, Advil and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminop...

Many Psychiatric Patients Are Getting Risky Drug Gabapentin 'Off-Label'

Most prescriptions for the medication gabapentin are for unapproved uses -- and many patients end up taking it along with drugs that create potentially dangerous interactions.

That's the conclusion of a new study that looked at "off-label" use of gabapentin. In the United States, the drug is officially approved for treating certain seizures and some forms of nerve pain.

It's known, ...

FDA OKs Virtual Reality System to Ease Back Pain

A 3-D virtual reality system to treat back pain was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday.

The EaseVRx system is a prescription device for at-home use that combines cognitive behavioral therapy and other behavioral methods to treat patients 18 and older with chronic lower back pain.

"Millions of adults in the United States are living with chronic lower back pa...

Exercise Helps Ease Arm, Shoulder Pain After Breast Cancer Surgery

Arm and shoulder pain are common for women after breast cancer surgery, and beginning a supervised exercise program soon afterwards can go a long way to easing the discomfort, new research suggests.

As the team of British investigators explained, restricted shoulder movement and chronic pain or swelling in the armpit area can really impact a patient's recovery and quality of life.

...

Most Americans Would Skip Opioids After Surgery If They Could: Survey

More than two-thirds of Americans would be willing to try alternatives to prescription opioids to control pain after surgery, a new survey shows.

The United States is grappling with an opioid addiction crisis, and it's common for addiction to begin when patients get painkillers after surgery or an injury.

The survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older found that four ou...

Your Expectations Could Shape Your Odds for Vaccine Side Effects

When it comes to a COVID-19 shot, fear might be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A new study found that folks who worried about possible side effects after vaccination were more likely to actually experience those side effects.

Along with explaining why some people feel poorly after getting a jab, the findings may also help guide efforts to convince hesitant people to get vaccinated.

...

Few Dental Patients Regret Having a Root Canal: Study

Most people who've had a root canal say they don't regret it, even though many still have pain and discomfort in the affected tooth, a new Swedish study finds.

Root canals are commonly done when the soft tissue (pulp) inside the tooth is inflamed or infected. The soft parts are removed and replaced with a rubber-like material and a kind of cement.

"The studies show that the patients...

Tingling, Burning in Your Feet? Common Condition May Be the Cause

The number of people experiencing numbness, pins and needles, and burning pain in their feet and toes seems to be on the rise, new research suggests, and some of these folks may be at increased risk for heart trouble.

Exactly why there has been an uptick in "small fiber neuropathy" is not fully understood yet, but it could be due to the ongoing diabetes and obesity epidemic as both condit...

Antidepressants Plus Common Painkillers May Raise Bleeding Risk

Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a mainstay of depression treatment, but a new study warns that taking common painkillers alongside SSRIs may raise the chances for intestinal bleeding.

In a review of 10 published studies involving 6,000 patients, researchers found that those taking SSRIs (such as Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft) and pain medicati...

One Downside to Space Travel: Back Pain

You can ride a rocket into space to escape Earth, but one thing you might not escape is back pain.

Back pain could turn out to be a major problem for the growing number of space travelers, and learning more about it could also benefit Earth-bound back patients, researchers say.

Low gravity, the physical stress of riding in a rocket and nutritional changes may all contribute to back ...

Many Dentists Still Giving Patients Addictive Opioid Painkillers

Though most U.S. dentists say non-opioid painkillers effectively manage dental pain, nearly half still prescribe potentially addictive opioid painkillers, a new survey reveals.

In all, 84% of the 269 respondents said NSAID-acetaminophen combos are as effective as opioids or even more so, but 43% also said they regularly prescribe opioid medications.

The findings were published Oct. ...

One-Third of Americans With Arthritis Get No Exercise

Many American arthritis sufferers aren't getting any exercise despite its benefits for reducing pain and improving their quality of life, new research shows.

Sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults with arthritis engaged in physical activity in the past month, most often walking, according to a new data analysis ...

Acupuncture During a Knee Replacement Could Lessen Post-Surgical Pain

After knee replacement surgery, many patients experience a level of pain that has them reaching for prescription opioid painkillers. Now new research suggests that using acupuncture during the operation may help reduce that pain without raising the risk of addiction.

"The opioid epidemic has been in the news and on our minds for years and has created an urgency for us to seek alternatives...

1 in 10 People Have Gastro Issues After a Meal

If you often have a stomachache after eating, you're not alone, a new survey finds. One in 10 people experience frequent meal-related pain.

This includes 13% of women and 9% of men, and is most common in 18- to 28-year-olds (15%), according to an online survey of more than 54,000 people in 26 countries.

"The take home message from this study is that people who experience meal-relate...

Scientists Share Nobel Prize for Discoveries That Changed Pain Research

Two American researchers have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries that could help ease chronic and acute pain.

The prize was given jointly on Monday to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, the New York Times reported.

Julius, a professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, turned to hot chili peppers to ide...

Special Therapy Brings Relief to Patients With Chronic Back Pain

Many people with long-term back pain have tried physical therapy and medication, to no avail. A new study suggests they might "unlearn" their discomfort in weeks -- using psychological therapy.

"For a long time, we have thought that chronic pain is due primarily to problems in the body, and most treatments to date have targeted that," said Yoni Ashar, who led the study while earning his P...

Epidurals Not Linked to Autism in Children

Pregnant women who receive an epidural to ease their pain during labor aren't any more likely than others to have kids with autism, two new studies show.

Earlier research suggested this practice may increase autism risk in offspring, but the pair of studies should put this concern to rest for good, experts say.

"Parents can be reassured that there is no link between using epidurals ...

Watch Their Backs -- Don't Overload Those Schoolbags

After more than a year at home, children are heading back to classrooms across the country. But they're also toting heavy bags on their backs again.

A backpack that fits properly -- and is not overloaded with binders and books -- will help prevent injury.

"With a focus on getting back in the classroom and returning to 'normal,' it's easy to overlook possible injuries caused by ...

Flat-Footed: What Works Best to Fix 'Fallen Arches'?

If you have fallen arches, you know just how debilitating they can be.

Now, doctors have some new guidance on which patients with this condition -- also called flat feet -- would benefit most from surgery.

"Roughly half of patients will need surgery," said Dr. Scott Ellis, a foot and ankle surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and senior author of a new study. "If ...

Soothing Sound: Mom's Voice Eases Preemies' Pain

Mothers are known for drying their little ones' tears, sometimes with a hug, a song or a kiss on a scraped knee.

So, perhaps it isn't a surprise that new research shows the sounds of mom's voice provide comfort and even pain relief to the tiniest ones, premature babies.

Researchers from the University of Geneva in Switzerland found that not only did the sound of a mother talking o...

Cluster of Symptoms Common in People First Diagnosed With MS

A number of symptoms are common among people who are newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a patient survey shows.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable disease in which the nerves' protective layers are damaged, resulting in progressive disability.

Could Electrode 'Pulses' Cut Back, Leg Pain Without Drugs?

A new approach to spinal cord stimulation may drastically reduce chronic back pain, a small pilot study suggests.

The study, of 20 patients with stubborn low back pain, tested the effects of implanting electrodes near the spinal cord to stimulate it with "ultra-low" frequency electrical pulses.

After two weeks, 90% of the patients were reporting at least an 80% reduction in their pa...

Acupuncture May Help Ease Prostate-Linked Pain in Men: Study

Men with chronic pain from prostate inflammation may get lasting relief from acupuncture, a new clinical trial finds.

At issue is a condition known as chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, in which the prostate gland becomes inflamed and nerves supplying the area are irritated. That can cause pain in the perineum, penis, scrotum and low belly, as well as urinary problems and s...

Experimental Drug Could Cut Migraine Frequency

A new pill specifically designed to prevent migraines appears to do the job, a new clinical trial finds.

Atogepant cut patients' migraine days in half over 12 weeks of treatment, without causing serious side effects, the researchers said.

Experts said the drug, if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, would give migraine sufferers a welcome new option.

"There's a ...

New CDC Guidelines May Have Made Opioid Prescribing Safer

Five years after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention retooled a guideline for prescribing opioid painkillers, research suggests the change is paying off.

With the United States in the grip of an opioid overdose epidemic, the CDC released an evidence-based guideline in 2016 to help doctors treat patients' pain while balancing the risks and benefits of prescription opioids....

Cancer Patients Avoiding Pot, Even as Rules on Use Relax

As legal use of marijuana expands, experts say U.S. cancer patients are still far less likely to use it than the general population.

That's the key finding from a new study based on data on smoking habits -- both tobacco and pot -- collected from nearly 20,000 people between 2013 and 2018. Several U.S. states legalized recreational pot during that time.

Over the period, reported ma...

Smoggy Air Might Help Spur Sinusitis

Air pollution could cause sinus misery, new research suggests.

Specifically, tiny particulate air pollution (known as PM2.5) could contribute to chronic rhinosinusitis, a condition in which the sinuses get infected or irritated, become swollen, are severely congested and secrete mucus into the throat for 12 weeks or more.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that lon...

More Than Half of Americans Plagued by Back, Leg Pain

There's much Americans may disagree on, but many share one thing in common: chronic pain.

More than half of U.S. adults suffer from pain, with backs and legs the most common sources, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Overall, the investigators found that nearly 59% of American men and wo...

Plasma Injection Therapy May Be Useless Against Achilles Tendon Pain

A treatment commonly used to tackle an often painful Achilles tendon condition doesn't actually work, British researchers warn.

At issue is "Achilles tendinopathy," a degenerative wear-and-tear disease that affects the critical tissue linking calf muscles to the heel.

Patients have sought pain relief with a treatment -- embraced by a number of famous athletes -- that involves inject...

Geneticists Probe Origins of Painful Cluster Headaches

The causes of a type of excruciating headache known as cluster headaches aren't clear, but heredity is known to play a role. Now, genetic factors associated with cluster headaches are under investigation as scientists search for more effective treatments.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analyzed blood samples from more than 600 people with cluster heada...

How Long Do People Want to Live?

What's better -- a long life or quality of life?

New research suggests that people balance both when thinking about their desired life span, and fears of suffering dementia or chronic pain in old age tend to limit how long they want to live.

"Dementia tops the list of conditions where people would prefer to live shorter lives -- which is a particular challenge given the rapid incr...

Parent's Words Key to Young Kids' Fears Around Vaccination

What's the best way to help your young child handle the stress of getting shots? New research claims that perfectly timed encouragement makes all the difference with vaccinations.

"What we found is that in the first minute after the needle, the more parents said coping-promoting statements, such as, 'You can do this' and 'It will be over soon' or tried to distract them with talking about ...

No Evidence Muscle Relaxants Can Ease Low Back Pain

Although tens of millions of Americans turn to muscle relaxants for lower back pain relief, a new Australian review finds little evidence that such drugs actually work.

That's the conclusion of a deep-dive into 31 prior investigations, which collectively enlisted more than 6,500 lower back pain patients. Enrolled patients had been treating lower back pain with a wide range of 18 different...

Can You Eat Your Way to Fewer Migraines?

Eating lots of fatty fish and cutting out polyunsaturated fats may reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines, a new study suggests.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish like tuna, salmon, bluefish and mackerel may help manage migraine, especially in tandem with eliminating omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils, the researchers found.

"It's moderate evidence that diet changes can de...

CBD Products Gain Following Among Fibromyalgia Patients

Could the answer to easing the tough-to-treat chronic pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia be found in edibles and other products containing CBD?

A new study from Michigan Medicine examined whether people using potentially addictive painkillers like opioids could get relief by replacing those narcotics with over-the-counter cannabidiol (CBD) treatments.

There's recent research "suggesti...

What Works Best to Ease Migraines?

A new research review offers good news for migraine sufferers: There are more pain-relieving options than ever.

In an analysis of over 100 published studies, researchers found that several drug classes showed good evidence they ease the pain of a migraine-in-progress.

Some of those medications have only become available in the past few years, opening up new options for migraine suff...

After COVID, Many Americans Are Struck by New Maladies: Study

Suffering through a case of COVID-19 unleashed a host of other health problems in hundreds of thousands of Americans participating in the largest study yet of the long-term effects of coronavirus infection.

Tracking the health insurance records of nearly 2 million people who caught the coronavirus last year, researchers found that one month or more after their infection, almost one-q...

Many U.S. Seniors May Need Better Knee Arthritis Care

Just a fraction of older Americans with arthritic knees try physical therapy, pain-relieving injections or other more conservative measures before undergoing knee replacement surgery, new research shows.

And this may be driven by what type of doctor they see to treat their achy knees, as well as where they live, the study findings suggest.

Knee osteoarthritis occurs when the cartila...