Cutting the Wires Nerve Blocks and Neurosurgery Temporary Nerve Blocks

Nerve blocks can be as simple as the shot of novocaine dentists use to numb a tooth. By injecting a drug near the path of a nerve, you can block the transmission of painful signals before they reach the spinal cord and brain. Such blocks are used for minor surgery and sometimes for chronic pain, such as from a back injury. An epidural nerve block, used commonly for labor pain, provides more extensive pain relief because the anesthetic (numbing medicine) is injected into the epidural space, a...

Methods to Promote Relaxation

Because stress, muscular tension, spasm, distress, and the body's responses to these phenomena (sweating, increased blood pressure, changes in brain chemicals and blood flow, or heart rate) can increase pain and make it harder to deal with, techniques to reduce these negative feelings may help alleviate pain. Some conditions such as irritable bowel, headache, and muscle spasm may be direct results of tension states. Even when pain is unrelated to tension, relaxing muscles can prevent or...

The Fetzer Institute

For general information on mind-body research. 9292 West KL Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49009 269-375-2000 E-mail info fetzer.org www.fetzer.org To obtain referrals close to your area, contact American Academy of Medical Acupuncture 800-521-2262 http www.medicalacupuncture.org American Association of Oriental Medicine 5530 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1210 Chevy Chase, MD 20815 301-941-1064 or 888-500-7999 Fax 301-986-9313 E-mail info aaom.org http www.aaom.org http www.medical-acupuncture.co.uk National...

Drug Therapy The Cornerstone of Pain Treatment

Pain medications are used commonly for acute or chronic pain for patients of all ages, including infants and the elderly, and will relieve pain in about 90 percent of cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) began a revolution in cancer pain therapies with its recommended ladder of medications for the appropriate sequence of therapies. It suggests that doctors treat mild cancer pain with mild painkillers and progress to more potent ones as needed, adding supplemental medications that can...

Common Drugs Used for Cancer Pain and Foreign Names for the Drugs

Canada, South Africa, and other NSAIDs Feldene Candyl Fensaid Mobiiis Pirox Feldene Larapam Piroflam, Flamatrol Novonaprox, Naxen, Apo-Napro-NA, Apo-Naproxen (Can.) Proxen, Naproflam (Ger.) Naprius, Xenar, Primerai, Prexan (Italy) Traumox (South Africa) Voltarol Rhumalgan Diclomax Motifene Fortfen, Flexagen, Panamor, Sodiclo (South Africa) Orudis Oruvail, Ketovail Ketocid Alrheumat Apo- Sulin (Can.) R-Flex (South Africa) Combination products for mild to moderate pain (weak opioids) Aspirin +...

Why Cancer Hurts

Pain is caused either by the effects of the cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy, surgical scarring, and radiation), the effects of the tumor's growth (intruding on neighboring tissues or invading other tissues distant from the tumor's primary site), other conditions that occur along with the cancer (such as herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles, a condition that chemotherapy patients are more susceptible to, or back pain from prolonged bed rest), or side...

Breathing Problems

Difficulty breathing is generally referred to as dyspnea and may include a variety of altered patterns of breathing. Hyperventilation, or rapid breathing (sometimes also called tachypnea or hyperpnea), is a normal response to illness and stress, but it is an inefficient form of breathing. When breathing excessively fast, there is no time to take a deep breath. Most of these shallow breaths go only in and out of the mouth and throat without enough air getting to the lungs, where the actual...

Ways to Take Opioids

Although taking opioids by mouth is preferred, patients can't always reliably swallow pills or liquids. This may be because too many pills are required, patients' mouths are too dry, they are nauseated, their intestines are blocked, or they are unable to swallow. Many patients with advanced cancer are likely to use, at one time or another, two or three different methods for receiving medication as their condition changes. Liquid, syrup, lozenges, or tablets are usually preferred because...

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is relatively uncommon in cancer patients and may actually result from the overzealous use of laxatives. The presence of diarrhea may require the physician to perform a brief manual rectal examination to be certain there is not a blockage around which liquid stool is leaking. Diarrhea may occur in conjunction with chemotherapy (especially 5-fluorouracil 5-FUJand rinotecan CPT-11 or Camptosar ), or with radiation treatments to the abdomen or pelvis. It may persist for several weeks...