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Dr. Ming Kao View All →

Pain physician & PhD computational biologist @StanfordPain • Advanced pain interventions with CIPS & FIPP • Opinions mine & not medical advice

Occipital headache

A common type of headache is experienced in the back of the head, often shooting up the scalp and perceived as “back of the eye”. It is important to recognize because there are targeted pain interventional treatments that can be very effective. Occipital headache Occipital headache is headache experienced on the back of the head,…

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Desensitization for neuropathic pain

Because pain is so deeply wired in the brain as a danger signal, patients with pain often avoid touching or using painful areas. However, stimulation & use actually help some neuropathic pain conditions. “Graded desensitization”, by stimulating nerves just enough to be uncomfortable, resets painful nerves in some pain conditions. Beginner Massages Using body lotion, apply…

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Low-impact exercises for pain

Patients struggling with chronic pain find it difficult to engage in exercises. Yet research shows that physical activities is one of the most effective treatments for many pain conditions. It is important for patients to be strategic about exercise, & invest the limited time & energy on sustainable, beneficial forms of exercises. Walking & Nordic walking…

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Sleep & pain

Sleep is a key contributor to chronic pain. Impaired sleep worsens pain, which in turn prevents patients from getting restful sleep. When pursuing treatment for chronic pain, it is important to not overlook simple, non-drug strategies that can markedly improve sleep. During the day Develop a regular energizing morning routine. Start the day with 3 minutes…

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Pelvic pain

Pain around the vagina, penis, anus, & buttock are often experienced by patients but seldom reported. Patients should know that this is a common problem that can often respond to comprehensive pain treatments by pelvic pain specialists. Pelvic pain Pelvic pain is experienced around the vagina, penis, scrotum, anus, & buttock. It can be worsened…

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Gabapentinoids for pain

For chronic pain conditions, gabapentinoids (gabapentin & pregabalin) are often first-line treatments because of their effectiveness & safety. They bind to a2d which alters activity of calcium channels on nerves, thereby modulating pain signals before they reach the brain. Pharmacology of gabapentinoids The absorption of gabapentin & pregabalin differ. Gabapentin absorption is slow. Beyond a…

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Anti-CGRP therapy for migraine

CGRP plays a key role in central chronic pain by mediating “neurogenic inflammation”. In this process, sensory nerves which usually carry electrical signal from the body instead broadcast inflammatory signals into it. CGRP is the most important of the inflammatory signals. Treating CGRP can be helpful for chronic migraine & pain. Neurogenic inflammation Small sensory…

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