Navigation Links
Pain treatment in the field: Good for soldiers' comfort and better for rebuilding troop strength

Noncombat-related acute and recurrent chronic pain are the leading causes of soldier attrition in modern war, with the return-to-duty rate as low as 2 percent when these soldiers are treated outside the theaters of operation. However, that rate jumps to 95 percent when troops and officers are treated and managed for pain in the field of instead of being sent elsewhere for therapy, according to a new study from a Johns Hopkins anesthesiologist.

The main factor seems to be rapid diagnosis and treatment of pain syndromes, says study co-author Colonel Steven Cohen, M.D., of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Establishing pain treatment centers in combat areas gets care to soldiers fast and could dramatically increase the militarys ability to maintain troop levels and succeed militarily in places like Iraq, says Cohen.

The report, appearing in the December issue of Anesthesiology, shows that 107 out of 113 soldiers suffering from noncombat-related pain were able to return to duty after being treated at the Ibna Sina Hospital in Baghdad between October 2005 and September 2006.

In contrast, a previous study by Cohen and colleagues showed that of 162 soldiers with similar kinds of pain evacuated from Iraq for treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., or the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany between April 2003 and July 2004, only three returned to active duty.

Noncombat pain was defined in both studies as conditions resulting from such things as physical training, sports and accidents.

Among those patients treated in the field, sciatica (leg pain and/or tingling, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg) accounted for 55.7 percent of the cases; noncardiac chest pain, 11.5 percent; arm pain from a herniated disc in the neck, 7.1 percent; groin pain, 7.1 percent; leg pain, 7.1 percent; low back pain without leg symptoms, 6.2 percent; arm pain unrelated to a herniated disc, 1.8 percent; and neck pain/headache, 1.8 percent. All of the patients were seen within 72 hours of their initial complaints by anesthesiologists who are pain specialists.

In the first study done in soldiers who were evacuated for treatment, the most common complaints were sciatica, low back pain, leg pain and arm pain. The majority of these cases did not receive definitive treatment until a few weeks after their initial complaints.

Treatments for both sets of patients were similar and included epidural steroid injections, trigger point injections, lumbar interarticular facet blocks, groin blocks, corticosteroid injections, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, neuropathic pain drugs, muscle relaxants and opioids.

Early intervention is almost always associated with better outcomes, says Cohen. The longer a pain complaint goes untreated, the worse the prognosis.

Cohen says it is also more difficult to re-deploy soldiers once they are medically evacuated, for both logistical and psychological reasons. Soldiers who stay with their units build on the strong ties with those units and wish to remain. Those bonds weaken when military personnel are stateside with their families, making theses soldiers even less amenable to returning to the field, he says.


Contact: Eric Vohr
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Related medicine news :

1. New treatment effective in counteracting cocaine-induced symptoms
2. New treatment boosts muscle function in myasthenia gravis
3. Broad-based group of physicians calls for improvement in stroke treatment
4. Cranberry Could Juice Up Ovarian Cancer Treatment
5. Non-medicinal treatment touted for pre-schoolers with ADHD
6. Nonmedicinal treatment touted for preschoolers with ADHD
7. U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
8. Biologic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and the risk of cancer
9. New Treatment Explored for Cluster Headaches
10. Thailand: Partners Open Free AIDS Treatment Clinic in Renowned AIDS Temple in Lop Buri
11. 4-Star Gen. Barry Mccaffrey, Former U.S. Drug Czar, to Keynote Recovery Happens! Rally for Treatment: Wed., Sept. 5, 11 Am, State Capitol West Steps, Sacramento
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) today announced that the organization has awarded ... in San Francisco, with a Distinguished Award. The award celebrates exceptional special needs ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... today announced it has been awarded a fixed price per sprint agile development ... contract, valued at $34 million over five years, provides software engineering, infrastructure, as ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), ... population health arenas, is pleased to announce that VIP Care Services, a Caprock ... implemented the ACUITY Complete Care™ Management to back their collaborative catastrophic case management ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... XTC Semifinals 2016 - CES, Las Vegas, Nevada ... Vegas for CES 2016, the world’s largest Consumer Electronic Show, where they will present ... Founding Partner of Pacific Investments Veronica Serra, and venture capitalist Tim Draper among many ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... With FCPX Overlay: Grit , users can apply ... the possibilities are truly endless, all with a click of a mouse. Each user ... horizontal flip, depth of field and more, all within Final Cut Pro X. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  CytoSorbents Corporation (NASDAQ: ... commercializing its CytoSorb® blood purification technology to reduce ... world, today announced that Dr. Phillip Chan ... to participate in the LD Micro Main Event ... Conference, both of which will be held in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... BOULDER, Colo. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... ARRY ) today announced that its Chief ... present at the Oppenheimer Annual Healthcare Conference ... to participate in the conference through a ... , --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015 Assurex Health, Inc. ... test giving healthcare providers an expanded range of ... patients suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic ... conditions. i .   ... With the addition of two new drug classes, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: