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Found 171 results
  1. News Article
    A 23-year-old woman who begged doctors to remove her womb to relieve chronic pain says the surgery is being refused due to her age and childless status. Hannah Lockhart has endometriosis, a condition that can cause debilitating pain, heavy periods and infertility. Although she has always wanted her own children, Hannah says her daily pain is now so severe she wants a hysterectomy. "It's heartbreaking that just because I'm so young I have to keep suffering," she told the BBC's Evening Extra. Ms Lockhart, from Bangor in County Down, has been in hospital seven times in the past year because of crippling pain from endometriosis. "Every single day I'm taking morphine, I'm taking different tablets for nerves to try and stop the pain and nothing works," she said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 April 2021
  2. News Article
    New guidance from health officials on the treatment of chronic pain could be devastating for women already struggling to get doctors to take their pain seriously, write Sarah Graham, The guidelines, published last week by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), say that patients suffering from chronic pain that has no known underlying cause (known as chronic primary pain) should not be prescribed painkillers. Instead, it suggests, these patients should be offered exercise, antidepressants, talking therapies and acupuncture. This has huge implications for the future treatment of anyone living with unexplained chronic pain – the majority of whom are women – and runs the risk of patients being viewed as hysterical until proven otherwise. Read full story Source: iNews, 7 April 2021
  3. News Article
    Doctors in pain management have raised concerns about the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence’s guidance on treating chronic primary pain, which they said do not reflect clinical practice or current evidence. Patients could be left in “despair,” said the British Pain Society, because of the recommendation that the only drugs that doctors should prescribe are certain antidepressants. Commonly prescribed drugs, including paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, benzodiazepines, and opioids, should not be used to treat chronic primary pain, said NICE. Instead patients should be offered exercise programmes, therapy, and acupuncture. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 9 April 2021
  4. News Article
    Unpaid carers looking after terminally ill friends and relatives during the pandemic struggled to access pain relief, with some patients dying in unnecessary pain, a survey has found. The survey of 995 unpaid carers by Marie Curie also found people had difficulties getting personal care and respite nursing for loved ones. Figures show the number of people dying at home rose by 42% in the past year. Nearly two-thirds of carers surveyed by the charity said their loved one did not get all the pain relief they needed when they were dying. Susan Lowe, from Solihull, cared for her mother Sheila before she died with bowel cancer in April last year, aged 74. She said caring for her mum during lockdown was hard as "the system was just under so much pressure that we had to manage largely on our own". The public health worker says she struggled to get the right pain relief medication for her mother in her final weeks and spent hours travelling to different chemists. Susan, 50, told the BBC: "My biggest regret is that my mum died in pain - more pain than she needed to be. She really wanted to be comfortable at the end. She knew she was dying." "What she really wanted - and this is what she was assured would happen - was to be comfortable. She was told she would get the drugs that she needed for it to be as bearable as possible... I remember breaking down in tears a couple of times in the pharmacy when I was told the medication mum needed wasn't in stock." Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 April 2021
  5. News Article
    People suffering from chronic pain that has no known cause should not be prescribed painkillers, the medicines watchdog has announced, recommending such patients be offered exercise, talking therapies and acupuncture instead. In a major change of pain treatment policy, the National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) say that in future, doctors should advise sufferers to use physical and psychological therapies rather than analgesics to manage their pain. Painkillers such as aspirin 'do more harm than good' for chronic primary pain Medical teams can also consider prescribing antidepressants, the government health advisers suggest. NICE’s new guidance potentially affects the way many hundreds of thousands of people in England and Wales tackle their condition because between 1% and 6% of the population of England is estimated to have chronic primary pain. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 7 April 2021
  6. News Article
    NHS clinics were still seeing just two-thirds of the number of chronic pain patients they normally would by the end of last year, with some patients having waited a year or more. In Ayrshire and Arran, 94 of the 112 chronic pain patients seen between October and December – equivalent to nearly 84% – had been on the waiting list for their first appointment for 52 weeks or longer. Only nine were seen within the 18-week target. This was by far the worst performance for any health board in Scotland. Pain relief clinics across NHS Scotland were paused for four months at the beginning of the pandemic, leading to reports that some patients with problems such as nerve damage and arthritis were paying thousands of pounds to travel to private facilities in England for medical infusions or injections to ease their symptoms. In a statement at the end of last year, Joanne Edwards, the director of acute service at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, apologised for the delays, saying the coronavirus pandemic "has had a significant impact on the capacity of the chronic pain service". Ms Edwards said the health board was increasing the number of face to face and telephone clinics that the chronic pain team can undertake, adding that an "enhanced clinical review" of the waiting list was also being carried out to prioritise patients for appointment based on clinical need. Read full story Source: The Herald, 10 March 2021
  7. News Article
    New stats from Endometriosis UK this week for Endometriosis Awareness Month reveal that 62% of women (aged 16-54) would put off going to a doctor with symptoms of endometriosis. Reasons include they don’t think it’s serious enough to bother a doctor with, they’d be embarrassed, they don’t think they’d be taken seriously, or they think symptoms including painful periods are normal. This statistic rises to 80% of 16-24-year-olds. 1.5 million UK women are currently living with endometriosis, with average diagnosis time standing at an unacceptable 8 years Endometriosis UK says it is vital that Governments, society, the NHS and workplaces wake-up and recognise the symptoms and impact endometriosis can have, and afford those with the condition the support and access to treatment they need to manage their symptoms. Commenting on the new research, Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK said: “Endometriosis is a long-term chronic health condition affecting 1.5 million in the UK, yet it still all too often considered a taboo or not important due to links with the menstrual cycle. Symptoms including chronic pelvic pain, painful periods, painful bladder and bowel movements, and infertility, can have a major, life-long impact, physically and mentally. But far too many find their symptoms are not believed nor taken seriously." “Myths such as “chronic period pain is normal” or “you must have a low pain threshold” manifesting in society, workplaces, schools, and even healthcare settings contribute to those experiencing symptoms being put off from seeking medical advice and contribute to diagnosis taking on average a shocking 8 years. “The impact of delayed diagnosis on people’s physical and mental health can’t be overstated. If undiagnosed, the disease may progress, and negatively impact people’s careers, education, relationships and all aspects of their life.” Read full story Source: Endometriosis UK, 1 March 2021
  8. News Article
    A drug developed over 20 years ago to treat cancer could help patients living with crippling pain, according to new research. Kenpaullone switches on a gene that douses chronic inflammation, say scientists. Experiments on mice and humans found it was remarkably successful at alleviating nerve injury and bone tumour symptoms. The US team is hopeful clinical trials will see equally successful results in humans suffering a host of conditions. Up to 8 million people in the UK live with chronic pain. Major causes include arthritis and spine damage. Lead author Professor Wolfgang Liedtke said: “New drugs and other therapies against chronic pain need to be safe, i.e., the fewer side effects the better. “It’s especially important they be non-addictive and non-sedative, while being effective against nerve injury pain and cancer pain, preferably with a minimal time to official approval." Read full story Source: The Independent, 27 October 2021
  9. News Article
    People are dying at home without the correct nursing support or pain relief because of staff shortages, according to the end-of-life charity Marie Curie. One in three nurses, responding to a survey by the charity and Nursing Standard, say a lack of staff is the main challenge providing quality care to dying people. More than half of the nurses said they feel the standard of care has deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic. Some 548 nursing staff across acute and community settings in the UK completed the survey in September. They raise concerns about the increased number of people dying at home and insufficient numbers of community nurses to support these people and their families. One nurse who responded to the survey said: "If more [people] are dying at home then there is a huge pressure on local district nursing teams which struggle with staffing as it is." Julie Pearce, chief nurse and executive director of quality and caring services at Marie Curie, said: "The pandemic has accelerated change across many care settings. "More people are dying at home and staffing to support this shift isn't there. "The data shows a hidden crisis happening behind closed doors and people dying without access to pain relief or the dignity they deserve." Read full story Source: The Independent, 27 October 2021
  10. News Article
    An innovative type of medicine - called gene silencing - is set to be used on the NHS for people who live in crippling pain. The drug treats acute intermittent porphyria, which runs in families and can leave people unable to work or have a normal life. Clinical trials have shown severe symptoms were cut by 74% with the drug. While porphyria is rare, experts say the field of gene silencing has the potential to revolutionise medicine. Sisters Liz Gill and Sue Burrell have both had their lives turned around by gene silencing. Before treatment, Liz remembers the trauma of living in "total pain" and, at its worst, she spent two years paralysed in hospital. Younger sister Sue says she "lost it all overnight" when she was suddenly in and out of hospital. Both became used to taking potent opioid painkillers on a daily basis. But even morphine could not block the pain during a severe attack that needed hospital treatment. Gene silencing gets to the root-cause of the sisters' disease rather than just managing their symptoms. Their porphyria leads to a build-up of toxic proteins in the body, that cause the physical pain. Gene silencing "mutes" a set of genetic instructions to block that protein production. Both had been taking the therapy as part of a clinical trial and are still getting monthly injections. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which approves drugs for use in England, said the therapy "would improve people's quality of life" and was "value for money". Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 October 2021
  11. News Article
    The use of opioids for pain relief soared during the pandemic as some patients waited longer for surgery, according to new research. The University of Aberdeen team focused on more than 450 patients due to have hip or knee replacement surgery. They said waiting times for these procedures increased by an average of 90 days and that the numbers of patients using opioids while waiting for surgery increased by 40% compared to pre-pandemic levels. The research, published in the BMJ Quality and Safety, looked at data collected from 452 NHS patients from the north east of Scotland. The university's Luke Farrow, who led the research, said alternative ways of managing severe arthritis pain needed to be found "urgently" for those waiting for this kind of surgery. Read full story Source: BBC News, 15 November 2021
  12. Content Article
    Visual summary Supporting evidence Economic analysis Acupuncture in people with chronic primary pain Exercise in people with chronic primary pain Evidence review A: Factors that may be barriers to successfully managing chronic pain (chronic primary pain and chronic secondary pain) B: Communication between healthcare professionals and people with chronic pain (chronic primary pain and chronic secondary pain) C: Pain management programmes for chronic pain (chronic primary pain and chronic secondary pain) D: Social interventions for chronic pain (chronic primary pain and chronic secondary pain) PDF 927.64 KB07 April 2021 E: Exercise for chronic primary pain F: Psychological therapy for chronic primary pain G: Acupuncture for chronic primary pain H: Electrical physical modalities for chronic primary pain I: Manual therapy for chronic primary pain J: Pharmacological management for chronic primary pain Tools and resources About the Into practice guide Impact on NHS workforce and resources Resource impact report Resource impact template Baseline assessment tool Practical steps to improving the quality of care and services using NICE guidance
  13. Content Article
    Claire was waiting for her diagnosed 14 years. Now she describes how she manages the condition. Lauren's symptoms were overlooked for many years and it wasn't until she experienced a ruptured cyst that she was diagnosed. Melissa experienced endometriosis symptoms from a very young age, before finally being diagnosed at 18. Learn how Stephanie was diagnosed with endometriosis and how she took action afterwards.