Is opioid use disorder associated with chronic pain?

“Our study is the first to provide OUD patients with a scale to measure central sensitization,” said Dr. O. Trent Hall, study lead author and addiction treatment physician. at the Ohio State Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. “Our study provides the first evidence for the underlying central sensitization relationship between chronic pain and OUDs and demonstrates a new tool for easily measuring central sensitization in people with OUD.”

The results of the study were published in the journal PAIN report, an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Opioid abuse in chronic pain

The researchers recruited 141 study participants from the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s addiction treatment center in Columbus, Ohio. As part of the study, the researchers administered the American College of Rheumatology’s 2011 Fibromyalgia Survey Criteria through an electronic survey. Participants also answered questions about pain interventions, quality of life, and items related to pain beliefs and expectations of pain and addiction treatment.


Chronic pain can lead to OUD, and people with chronic pain and OUD have a harder time quitting opioids than people with OUD only. So it’s important to find out how pain and the OUD are connected in the brain. The researchers measured quality of life across eight life domains including general health, physical activity, mental health, social functioning, vitality, bodily pain, and role limitations. due to physical health and role limitation due to emotional problems. According to Hall, they found that more central sensitization was associated with poorer quality of life in patients with OUD.

This study suggests that central sensitization may be an important underlying factor complicating the treatment of chronic pain and OUD. This provides an example for other researchers and clinicians to measure central sensitization in the OUD, which may help them devise better treatments for people with chronic pain and OUD.

As a physician with a background in both pain and addiction, Hall has cared for many painful patients with both conditions, and he realizes that treatment options are limited.

“It’s important to me to find new ways to help,” Hall said. “But we can’t create better treatments for chronic pain and OUD without first understanding the relationship between the two. I did this study because I believe it can provide insight. a new window into what’s going on in the brains of patients who need help with pain and addiction.”

Next, Hall plans to follow patients with central sensitization and OUD over time to find out if they respond differently to the treatments or have different outcomes. He also plans to study whether existing central sensitization treatments would benefit patients with chronic pain and OUDs.

Source: Eurekalert

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