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8 Articles in this Series
Introduction
Back Pain Linked to Falls Among Elderly Men
Chronic Pain after Breast Cancer Surgery Linked to Endogenous Pain Response
Dextrose Injection Shows Efficacy in Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Hospice Caregivers’ Negative Attitudes Toward Opioids May Hinder Patient Care
Insight into Pain Resulting from Motor Vehicle Accidents
Many Generalists Lack Knowledge on Fibromyalgia Diagnosis and Treatment
Patients Undergoing Joint Replacement at Risk for Respiratory Events
Studies in Teens Examine Ways to Reduce Abdominal Pain and the Effect of Pain on Exercise

Chronic Pain after Breast Cancer Surgery Linked to Endogenous Pain Response

Chronic pain resulting from breast cancer surgery is common, occurring in nearly 50% of cases and may be linked to psychosocial factors and reduced endogenous inhibition of pain, according to a recent study. This knowledge may lead to potential targets for prophylactic treatment, noted study author Robert Edwards, PhD, associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.1

He evaluated 52 women who underwent breast cancer surgery—approximately half of whom had ongoing pain related to surgery and half who did not. The patients were matched for demographic factors. The women with chronic pain had significantly reduced endogenous pain modulation (assessed using diffuse noxious inhibitory controls and temporal summation paradigms) compared with controls (P<0.05). These differences were partially mediated by psychosocial factors, such as higher levels of catastrophizing in the chronic pain group. Further research is needed to demonstrate causality and identify possible ways to prevent chronic pain from developing in this population.

Reference

  1. Edwards R. Deficits in endogenous pain modulation: Association with long-term postoperative pain. Pain. 2011. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2011.02.079.
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