Pain Conditions

Learn about a variety of chronic pain conditions and begin your own path to wellness.

ARTHRITIS

If you feel pain and stiffness in your body or have trouble moving around, you might have arthritis. Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. Over time, a swollen joint can become severely damaged. Some kinds of arthritis can also cause problems in your organs, such as your eyes or skin. One type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is often related to aging or to an injury. Other types occur when your immune system, which normally protects your body from infection, attacks your body’s own tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of this kind of arthritis. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a form of the disease that happens in children. Infectious arthritis is an infection that has spread from another part of the body to the joint. NIH – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Further Information:

Arthritis Foundation NIH – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases NIH – National Library of Medicine

BACK PAIN

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months. Most back pain goes away on its own, though it may take awhile. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and resting can help. However, staying in bed for more than one or two days can make it worse. If your back pain is severe or doesn’t improve after three days, you should call your health care provider. You should also get medical attention if you have back pain following an injury. NIH – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Further Information:

Mayo Clinic NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NIH – National Library of Medicine

CANCER

Investigational drug study evaluating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of study drug for cancer pain.

Eligible Participants:
  • 18 years old or older
  • Participants who experience less than four episodes of breakthrough pain a day
  • Participant’s pain associated with cancer treatment.
  • Patients must currently be on a stable ongoing opioid therapy to control cancer-related pain

* study-related lab work, office visits and study drug available at no charge * compensation for time and travel is available

CRPS / RSD

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is an uncommon nerve disorder. It causes intense pain, usually in the arms, hands, legs or feet. It happens after an injury, either to a nerve or to tissue in the affected area. Rest and time may only make it worse. Doctors are not sure what causes it. Symptoms in the affected area are Dramatic changes in temperature and color Intense burning pain Extreme skin sensitivity. The cause of CRPS is unknown, and there is no cure. It can get worse over time, and may spread to other parts of the body. Occasionally it goes away, either temporarily or for good. Treatment focuses on relieving the pain, and can include medicines, physical therapy and nerve blocks. NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Further Information:

NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NIH – National Library of Medicine RSD Association

DEPRESSION

Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression can run in families, and usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder. There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants and talk therapy. Most people do best by using both. NIH – National Institute of Mental Health

Further Information:

NIH – National Institute of Mental Health NIH – National Library of Medicine

DIABETES

Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression can run in families, and usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder. There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants and talk therapy. Most people do best by using both. NIH – National Institute of Mental Health

Further Information:

NIH – National Institute of Mental Health NIH – National Library of Medicine

FACIAL PAIN / TMJ

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to the side of your head. When it works well, it enables you to talk, chew and yawn. For people with TMJ dysfunction, problems with the joint and muscles around it may cause Pain that travels through the face, jaw or neck Stiff jaw muscles Limited movement or locking of the jaw Painful clicking or popping in the jaw A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. Jaw pain may go away with little or no treatment. Treatment may include simple things you can do yourself, such as eating soft foods or applying ice packs. It may also include pain medicines or devices to insert in your mouth. In rare cases, you might need surgery. NIH – National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Further Information:

NIH – National Library of Medicine Mayo Clinic The TMJ Association

FIBROMYALGIA

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and disturbed sleep. This investigational drug study evaluates symptoms of fibromyalgia using American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, headset device worn twice daily for 40 minutes each.

Eligible Participants:
  • Age 18+
  • Diagnosised with FMS at least 6 months ago
  • Participants must have minimum of 11 to 18 defined tender points
  • Participants willing to discontinue medications that may be used to treat fibromyalgia
  • Participants do NOT have any other painful, significant, or unstable medical conditions

Exclusion: other painful disorders (including migraines, rheumatic dz); or significant disorders (seizures, major depression, CA, personality disorder, unstable psychological conditions); hearing aids; metal or electrical implanted devices above mid-torso; receiving or applying for disability insurance related to FMS

HEADACHES / MIGRANES

Nearly everyone has had a headache. The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Tension headaches are due to tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression or anxiety. You are more likely to get tension headaches if you work too much, don’t get enough sleep, miss meals or use alcohol. Other common types of headaches include migraines, cluster headaches and sinus headaches. Most people can feel much better by making lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax and taking pain relievers. Headaches can have many causes, but serious causes of headaches are rare. Sometimes headaches warn of a more serious disorder. Let your health care provider know if you have sudden, severe headaches. Get medical help right away if you have a headache after a blow to your head, or if you have a headache along with a stiff neck, fever, confusion, loss of consciousness or pain in the eye or ear. NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Further Information:

Mayo Clinic NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NIH – National Library of Medicine

HIV

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body’s immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV. HIV most often spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person. It may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person. Women can give it to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth. The first signs of HIV infection may be swollen glands and flu-like symptoms. These may come and go a month or two after infection. Severe symptoms may not appear until months or years later. A blood test can tell if you have HIV infection. Your health care provider can perform the test, or call the national referral hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO (24 hours a day, 1-800-232-4636 in English and en español; 1-888-232-6348 – TTY). There is no cure, but there are many medicines to fight both HIV infection and the infections and cancers that come with it. People can live with the disease for many years. NIH – National Library of Medicine

Further Information:

Mayo Clinic NIH – National Library of Medicine The Well Project

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a nervous system disease that affects your brain and spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks messages between your brain and your body, leading to the symptoms of MS. They can include Visual disturbances Muscle weakness Trouble with coordination and balance Sensations such as numbness, prickling or “pins and needles” Thinking and memory problems. No one knows what causes MS. It may be an autoimmune disease, which happens when your body attacks itself. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men. It often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually, the disease is mild, but some people lose the ability to write, speak or walk. There is no cure for MS, but medicines may slow it down and help control symptoms. Physical and occupational therapy may also help. NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Further Information:

Mayo Clinic National MS Society NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NIH – National Library of Medicine

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY

Peripheral neuropathy is a problem with the nerves that carry information to and from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This can produce pain, loss of sensation and an inability to control muscles. “Peripheral” means nerves further out from the center of the body, distant from the brain and spinal cord (which are called the central nervous system). “Neuro” means nerves. “Pathy” means abnormal. NIH – National Library of Medicine

Further Information:

Mayo Clinic NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NIH – National Library of Medicine

Why Should I Participate in Clinical Research Trials?
  • To gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available
  • To obtain study-related medical care during the trial
  • To help others by contributing to research
  • Compensation for travel may be available
SEXUAL AND PELVIC PAIN

Chronic pelvic pain refers to pain in the pelvic region — below the bellybutton and between the hips — lasting six months or longer. If asked to locate her pain, a patient might sweep her hand over that entire area rather than point to one spot. Chronic pelvic pain can be a symptom of another disease, or it can be designated as a condition in its own right. The cause of chronic pelvic pain is often hard to find … but that doesn’t mean the pain isn’t real and treatable. If the source of a person’s chronic pelvic pain is found, treatment focuses on that cause. If no cause can be found, treatment for chronic pelvic pain focuses on managing the pain. Adapted from MayoClinic.com

Further Information:

International Pelvic Pain Society NIH – National Library of Medicine

SHINGLES

Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the virus stays in your body. It may not cause problems for many years. As you get older, the virus may reappear as shingles. Unlike chickenpox, you can’t catch shingles from someone who has it. Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face. The pain can be mild to severe. Blisters then form and last from one to 14 days. If shingles appears on your face, it may affect your vision or hearing. The pain of shingles may last for weeks, months or even years after the blisters have healed. There is no cure for shingles. Early treatment with medicines that fight the virus may help. These medicines may also help prevent lingering pain. A vaccine may prevent shingles or lessen its effects. The vaccine is for people 60 or over. NIH – National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Further Information:

AfterShingles.com Mayo Clinic NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NIH – National Library of Medicine

Contact PainPathways for more information on this research trial at 336.714.8389

For more information about other current government research trials, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov. A service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health

Why Should I Participate in Clinical Research Trials?
  • To gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available
  • To obtain study-related medical care during the trial
  • To help others by contributing to research
  • Compensation for travel may be available