Mind wandering may lead to insomnia

Brain imaging study reveals the wandering mind behind insomnia — Study is the first to find functional MRI differences in working memory in people with primary insomnia – A new brain imaging study may help explain why people with insomnia often complain that they struggle to concentrate during the day even when objective evidence of a cognitive problem is lacking.

Acupuncture may be better for chronic pain

Study suggests acupuncture may be better than no acupuncture, sham acupuncture for chronic pain – An analysis of patient data from 29 randomized controlled trials suggests that acupuncture may be better than no acupuncture or sham acupuncture for the treatment of some chronic pain.

Chronic low back pain treatment can reverse abnormal brain activity

No pain, big gain — Treatment of chronic low back pain can reverse abnormal brain activity and function – It likely comes as no surprise that low back pain is the most common form of chronic pain among adults. Lesser known is the fact that those with chronic pain also experience cognitive impairments and reduced gray matter in parts of the brain associated with pain processing and the emotional components of pain, like depression and anxiety.

Acute pain is eased with the touch of a hand

Acute pain is eased with the touch of a hand – Self touch offers significant relief for acute pain under experimental conditions, revealed by researchers in Current Biology. This is a reason that people naturally clutch their hand after receiving an injury.

Cannabis may offer relief to patients with chronic pain

Research demonstrates benefits of medical cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain – The medicinal use of cannabis has been debated by clinicians, researchers, legislators and the public at large for many years as an alternative to standard pharmaceutical treatments for pain, which may not always be effective and may have unwanted side effects.

Tai Chi may reduce fibromyalgia symptoms

Tai Chi may improve fibromyalgia symptoms – Fibromyalgia sufferers may find relief from the chronic pain condition by doing tai chi, revealed by researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Exercise can reduce anxiety symptoms by 20 percent

Regular exercise reduces patient anxiety by 20 percent, study finds – The anxiety that often accompanies a chronic illness can chip away at quality of life and make patients less likely to follow their treatment plan. But regular exercise can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety, a new University of Georgia study shows.

Chronic pain increases risk of falls in older adults

Older adults who reported chronic musculoskeletal pain in two or more locations, higher levels of severe pain, or pain that interfered with daily activities were more likely to experience a fall than adults who did not reports these types of pain. – A new study finds that pain may be more hazardous than previously thought, contributing to an increased risk of falls in adults over age 70. Chronic pain is experienced by as many as two out of three older adults.

Back pain diagnosis easier with simple bedside test

Simple bedside test StEP improves diagnosis of chronic back pain, could guide treatment. – A simple and inexpensive method of assessing pain, developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers, is better than currently used techniques for distinguishing neuropathic pain ? pain caused by damage to the nervous system ? from other types of chronic back pain.

Minority health care clinics separate but unequal

New study evaluates role of clinic environment in health-care disparities – A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine may shed new light on why minority Americans have poorer health outcomes from chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.