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iSpine Discuss Fact - Chronic Pain Shrinks Brains in the Main forums forums; Interesting Article posted by Live Science regarding an article published last month in the Journal of Internal Medicine. I've ...

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Old 07-30-2008, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 53
Default Fact - Chronic Pain Shrinks Brains

Interesting Article posted by Live Science regarding an article published last month in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

I've republished the article here for those interested (with a link to the source for those that want to dig even deeper):

5 Painful Facts You Need to Know | Back & Neck Pain Solutions - Integrative Medicine & Nutrition

For those short on time here is the excerpt:
If you have chronic pain, you know how demoralizing and debilitating it can be, physically and mentally. It can prevent you from doing things and make you irritable for reasons nobody else understands. But that’s only half the story. People with chronic backaches have brains as much as 11 percent smaller than those of non-sufferers, scientists reported in 2004. They don’t know why. “It is possible it’s just the stress of having to live with the condition,” said study leader A. Vania Apkarian of Northwestern University. “The neurons become overactive or tired of the activity.”
So the next time your Doctor says that Pain is not a good enough reason to operate... perhaps they should consider what happens to Brain of the Chronic Pain Sufferer. It's not like you Brain is going to grow back!

Now I am not here to address Surgery as the only viable option for pain treatment, and of course it would be nice if the Medical Profession understood pain well enough to find the CAUSE of the pain in Chronic Sufferers. But I am here to say, it's not okay to "just go home and live with it".

And it's further frustrating that when you need medication for your condition you are often treated as an addict. And there is so much pressure on Doctors to NOT prescribe pain medications due to potential abuse by the public at large.

The point is PAIN IS NOT OKAY TO JUST LIVE WITH. It's unfortunate but the only person who can truly understand your pain is YOU, and YOU are also the only person that is really going to be able to fight for yourself. People who are not suffering really don't get it.
My Research Postings On Dozens of Spine Pain Treatments

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Old 07-31-2008, 05:08 PM
dshobbies's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,596

Didn't know about the brain thing but living with chronic pain is simply not a satisfactory way to live. Not -Not - Not!
3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:23 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default chronic pain shrinks brain

I'm definately not in as much pain as I was prior to being pretty well taken care of pain wise with pain meds but I felt my brain was a bit more alert and functional than it is now with very low dose Methadone use and I suppose moderate Neurontin use (Morontin as some say)..

I do find some topics extremely interesting yet find that my ability to remember what exactly I find interesting is difficult to convey to other people. Sometimes it's for a lack of the right words at the moment ( I know what I want to say and cannot remember the word I want to use) and/or I just can't seem to get the right statement out without it sounding like a huge generalization.

Sometimes I think I made more sense when I've been drunk

thank you for the link.. at least I can remember that I have read this before about the pain brain shrinking information. Maybe I'm not all that bad off.. oh yeah, on the up side of that info, I have migraines~

Last edited by Maria; 08-01-2008 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: south bay area of los angeles
Posts: 99
Default hmmm,shrinking brain

so, after 30 years of chronic back, leg,and butt pain, i must only have a Pea sized brain, hmmmmm
After a botched spinal tap where my L4/L5 disc exploded i underwent a laminectomy in 1979, and ran from spinal surgery ever since, then in 2002 i met DrDelamarter in Santa Monica- and my life as i knew it changed dramatically, I consider myself the "ProdiscPosterBoy" I am in the US Trials and one of the first in California to recieve 2 Lumbar Prodiscs, nomorepain-nomoremeds
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 53

Only if your brain was already pea sized. 10% seems like a pretty good chunk to me too, but in this case it's not the size, it's what you do with it.

My brain sits on idle most of the time due to pain. So it doesn't really matter I suppose how large or small it is... if only the damn pain nerves would shrink.
My Research Postings On Dozens of Spine Pain Treatments

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