Make it stop: New frontiers in pain research offer hope

By Julie Greicius: For More Info, Go Here…

Stacey Morris didn’t mean to overdose. She’d been taking prescription pain medications following a surgery six months earlier to remove some calcium deposits from her right shoulder. Instead of subsiding as pain normally should after surgery, her pain had grown into a monster that tormented her all day, every day. Then, one night she happened to take her pain medication — gabapentin — along with a common sleep medication and a small glass of wine. The combination nearly ended her life.

In her story for the latest issue of Stanford Medicine magazine, Nicoletta Lanese recounts the decade-long struggle with pain experienced by Morris — whose name was changed for this story — and the work that her doctor at Stanford, Vivianne Tawfik, MD, PhD, is doing to understand and stop chronic pain.

The classic symptom of complex regional pain syndrome is long-lasting pain that is stronger than expected given the injury that triggered it. Other symptoms include muscle tremors and weakness, brittle nails, slow-growing hair, swelling, redness or unexplained warmth in the affected limb. Those with the syndrome may become hypersensitive: A minor cut or bruise might cause severe pain while normally painless sensations, such as feeling clothing against their skin, can become excruciating. For instance, when Morris walks on pebbles with bare feet, it can feel as if she’s walking on jagged shards of glass.

Leave a Reply