- To synthesize the evidence regarding the effect of spinal stimulation (SS) vs medical therapy (MT) and the effect of newer SS technologies vs conventional SS on pain reduction in patients with intractable spine or limb pain.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with diverse pathophysiologic mechanisms. These mechanisms include increased abnormal colonic motility or transit, intestinal or colorectal sensation, increased colonic bile acid concentration, and superficial colonic mucosal inflammation, as well as epithelial barrier dysfunction, neurohormonal up-regulation, and activation of secretory processes in the epithelial layer. Novel approaches to treatment include lifestyle modification, changes in diet, probiotics, and pharmacotherapy directed to the motility, sensation, and intraluminal milieu of patients with IBS.
- Chronic pain represents one of the most important public health problems in terms of both the number of patients afflicted and health care costs. Most patients with chronic pain are treated with medications as the mainstay of therapy, and yet most medically treated patients continue to report ongoing pain. Additionally, adverse effects from pain medications represent a major challenge for clinicians and patients. Spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal drug delivery systems are well-established techniques that have been utilized for over 25 years.
- Neuropathic pain is caused by disease or injury of the nervous system and includes various chronic conditions that, together, affect up to 8% of the population. A substantial body of neuropathic pain research points to several important contributory mechanisms including aberrant ectopic activity in nociceptive nerves, peripheral and central sensitization, impaired inhibitory modulation, and pathological activation of microglia. Clinical evaluation of neuropathic pain requires a thorough history and physical examination to identify characteristic signs and symptoms.
- The efficacy of drugs for neuropathic pain has been established in randomized controlled trials that have excluded patients with comorbid conditions and those taking complex medications. However, patients with neuropathic pain frequently present with complex histories, making direct application of this evidence problematic. Treatment of neuropathic pain needs to be individualized according to the cause of the pain, concomitant diseases, medications, and other individual factors. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), gabapentinoids, selective noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors, and topical lidocaine are the first-line choices; if needed, combination therapy may be used.
- The Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain recently sponsored the development of evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of neuropathic pain. Tricyclic antidepressants, dual reuptake inhibitors of serotonin and norepinephrine, calcium channel α2-δ ligands (ie, gabapentin and pregabalin), and topical lidocaine were recommended as first-line treatment options on the basis of the results of randomized clinical trials. Opioid analgesics and tramadol were recommended as second-line treatments that can be considered for first-line use in certain clinical circumstances.