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When it comes to the topic of pain, we know that the lack of access to verified, evidence-based educational materials is a challenge for healthcare providers. We endeavor to mitigate this challenge by keeping healthcare providers abreast of the latest verified information and innovation in pain management. That is why we prepare fortnightly executive summaries of research papers relevant to pain management. You can access them all from this post or subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter to get them delivered straight to your inbox.

Primary headache disorders: Five new things by Peter J Goadsby

Therapeutic advances offer patients reduced disability and healthcare providers a rewarding, key role in improving the lives of those with migraine and cluster headaches. Access the executive summary for Prof. Goadsby’s paper which presents a review of therapeutic advances between 2011 – 2019 for the treatment of migraines and cluster headaches targeting the serotonin 5-HT1F and CGRP receptors.

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The diagnosis and management of chronic migraine in primary care by Werner J Becker

Chronic migraine is common, affecting approximately 1% of the general population, and causes significant disability. Becker's paper aims to summarize the optimal involvement of primary care physicians in chronic migraine care, and to provide algorithms to assist them in the diagnosis and management of patients with chronic migraine.

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Vagus nerve may be linked to disease by Marijke De Couck, Boris Mravec and Yori Gidron

This hypothesis paper proposes that the vagus nerve is a complex homeostatic system that operates via neurotransmitters to affect the risk factors associated with the progression of various diseases including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

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The Evolution of Medication-Overuse Headache: History, pathophysiology, and clinical update by C. Sun‑Edelstein, A.M. Rapoport, W. Rattanawong, and A. Srikiatkhachorn

Medication overuse develops because of the frequent use of headache medication by a person with a primary headache disorder. Most migraineurs who overuse medications develop an MOH with increased headache frequency, poor response to acute and preventative treatments, and more disability. The review outlines the progression of medication-overuse headaches, and the evolution of the diagnostic criteria, and treatment options.

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Working toward standardizing DVPRS by R.C. Polomano, K.T. Galloway, M.L. Kent, H. Brandon-Edwards, K. Kwon, C. Morales, and C. Buckenmaier III

The study aimed to replicate the psychometric test for Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale (DVPRS) 2.0, establish the reliability of a resemblance of measurement in ordering the sequence of new facial expressions denoting pain levels, and correlate pain intensity ratings with presentations of pain.

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Cognitive behavioral therapy for fibromyalgia by R. Bennett and D. Nelson

Over the past 18 years, several chronic pain treatment programs have used CBT techniques in the management of fibromyalgia. In this review, the results from 13 programs using CBT, alone or in combination with other treatment modalities, are analyzed.

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Considerations for incorporating CAM into Western medical practices by A. Woodbury, S. N. Soong, D. Fishman, and P. S. García

There is an increased demand for CAM to be integrated into conventional treatments to cater for patients’ emotional and physical well-being. The summary presents an overview of CAM therapies commonly encountered by anesthesiologists and pain management practitioners.

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Shedding light on the term "refractory fibromyalgia" by L.F. Vidal, O. Messina, T. Rodríguez, M. Vidal, C. Pineda, R. Morales, and A. Collado

In this paper, the authors aimed to raise awareness of the lack of consensus regarding the definition of refractory fibromyalgia. 

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Evolving understanding of the classification of fibromyalgia following surgery by LA. Meka, D. Ji and A. Woodbury

The authors outline how fibromyalgia may be misdiagnosed in post-surgical patients and veterans that present with generalized forms of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

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