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[13 Mar 2019 | Comments Off on Can daytime naps lower your blood pressure? | ]

Yes they can. And according to the latest research, they do it as effectively as medications.
This is great news for people like me who love a sneaky disco nap. And it’s great news for any of you taking blood pressure medication. After all, who wouldn’t love to be taking less medications!
In a 2019 article on the website MedicalNewsToday, 212 people were studied. These were not the healthiest people – average age of 62, plenty of smokers and people with type 2 diabetes. Yet even with these complicating factors, the study found …

Featured, Pain »

[12 Jun 2018 | Comments Off on Painkillers for children? | ]
Painkillers for children?

I saw an interesting article recently which I thought I would share with you all. In the article, 5 experts were asked whether they thought it was safe and advisable to give painkilling medications to children. The people asked included a paediatrician, pain specialist, pharmacist and anaesthetist.
They mostly agreed that it was but had certain contingencies on that.
Some choice quotes:
Caregivers have to ensure, however, the child is carefully monitored and dosage is very carefully calculated and delivered safely. A child in pain is no less than an adult in pain, …

Pain »

[3 Aug 2016 | Comments Off on NYTimes article on “useless” surgery | ]
NYTimes article on “useless” surgery

The New York Times posted a really interesting article this week (click here if you want to read it), about the effectiveness (or otherwise), of common surgical procedures. We kind of assume that a doctor won’t recommend surgery for us unless we really need it, and unless it’s going to fix us. After all, there are significant risks and costs involved in surgery, so there must be compelling reasons for them to recommend it, right? Turns out that may not be the case.
As they noted, surgery is not regulated in the …

Pain »

[10 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on Codeine deaths more than doubled in Australia 2000-2009 | ]
Codeine deaths more than doubled in Australia 2000-2009

As you’ve no doubt recently heard, there are calls to make codeine a prescription drug. It is currently an over the counter pain reliever and something that a lot of people routinely use. Chances are you have used it yourself and if so, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. A new report published in The Medical Observer says that for the decade 2000-2009 the number of deaths from taking codeine in Australia more than doubled. Here are some of the key points from the article:

Almost half of these …

Pain »

[7 Oct 2014 | Comments Off on New Warnings on Anti-Inflammatories | ]
New Warnings on Anti-Inflammatories

I just read an article on the Medical Observer website which said that the Therapeutic Goods Administrator (TGA) “will ramp up warnings on NSAID packages after a safety review found over-the-counter diclofenac was associated with liver damage and that NSAIDs in general were linked to adverse cardiovascular effects”.
The TGA has now suggested that these medications come with the following warning: “Warning: In rare cases, diclofenac has been associated with serious liver injury”.
A couple of choice quotes from the article:

Doctors have also been warned to avoid using prescription NSAIDs in patients with previous …

Pain »

[6 Aug 2014 | Comments Off on Paracetamol for back pain? | ]
Paracetamol for back pain?

I guess a lot of you saw the recent articles (such as this one in The Australian) questioning the effectiveness of Paracetamol for back pain. This is newsworthy because it is probably the first thing a doctor would recommend for back pain, so we want to know if it actually works. It has very few side effects, if any, so it’s almost certainly not going to be dangerous to take, but according to this new research, there may not be much point.
The study in question looked at 1,600 people with …

Exercise, Featured, Pain »

[13 Feb 2014 | Comments Off on Treating Arthritis | ]
Treating Arthritis

A new study has come out saying that the best treatment for arthritis is exercise. This makes sense and is something I’ve long believed and I may even have posted about it once before with respect to knee arthritis and tai chi.
The pain associated with arthritis comes from things like the muscles tightening up around the joint (to try to stabilise it), the joint losing mobility and there being less fluid in the joint.
It would make sense then, that exercise would help. Exercise increase your flexibility, your balance, promotes blood flow …

Pain, Your Body »

[30 Jan 2014 | Comments Off on Spinal Injections | ]
Spinal Injections

New research has come out questioning the effectiveness of spinal injections. Titled “Time to reconsider steroid injections in the spine?”, the article in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia lists the following points, which I’ll post for your consideration:

The largest of these showed marginal short-term (2-week) improvement in the steroid and local anaesthetic group over the saline group for the primary outcome (leg pain), an effect that was not sustained by 4 weeks.
Short-term relief is a common finding in studies that use local anaesthetic in the active group.
We …

Pain, Your Body »

[24 Oct 2013 | Comments Off on Need a Second Opinion? | ]
Need a Second Opinion?

I just read this article on The New York Times website which talked about the rate of misdiagnosis in the medical fraternity. This follows on from a number of earlier articles questioning the necessity of many surgeries. If your condition is not life threatening and especially if it involves your musculoskeletal system don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion before agreeing to surgery or injections.
I’ll leave you with this quote: “In the United States and Canada it is estimated that 50,000 hospital deaths each year could have been prevented …

Pain, Your Body »

[29 Aug 2013 | Comments Off on Using Paracetamol for Pain? Read this | ]
Using Paracetamol for Pain? Read this

The use of paracetamol, such as Panadol, for conditions like arthritis, has come under fire after a panel of medical experts “said they were ‘extremely concerned’ about the links of higher doses to cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal adverse events.
An article on Pulse.co.uk outlined the panel’s findings, which included:

warnings about the potential side effects of paracetamol
findings that paracetamol only provides ‘limited benefit’
when used, it should be the ‘lowest effective dose’ for the ‘shortest possible time’
clinicians should be particularly cautious of using it in combination with an oral NSAID (anti-inflammatory)
‘There is more evidence of …