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עמוד בית
Fri, 24.05.24

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September 2021
George Habib MD MPH, Fahed Sakas MD, and Fadi Khazin MD

Background: Fibromyalgia is characterized by diffuse musculoskeletal pain at the time of diagnosis, but many patients report their initial symptoms as being focal or local. 

Objectives: To evaluate, prospectively, the initial location of body pain in recently diagnosed patients with fibromyalgia.

Methods: Non-selected patients from the rheumatology clinic who were recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia (≤ 2 years) with symptoms of ≤ 4 years participated in our study. Demographic and clinical parameters were documented, as was the initial location of pain they had experienced. Sub-analysis of data according to gender and ethnicity was conducted using chi-squire test.

Results: The study comprised 155 patients. Mean age was 39.8 ± 11.7 years; 85% were female. Mean duration of symptoms was 2.11 years and of diagnosis was 0.78 years. Six patients (3.9%) reported initial symptoms of pain as being diffuse from the start, 10 (6.5%) could not remember the location of their initial symptoms, and 139 (90%) reported initial focal pain. Hands were reported as the initial area of pain for 25.2% of the patients, 19.4% reported the back, and 11% reported both trapezial areas as the initial area of pain. In 90% of the patients (excluding patients with back, abdominal, or chest pain) the initial symptoms were bilateral and symmetrical. No significant difference in initial presentation was found among different gender or ethnic groups. 

Conclusions: Pain in fibromyalgia patients usually presents as focal and symmetrical. Bilateral hand pain, followed by back pain, was the most common reported area of initial pain among fibromyalgia patients.

April 2019
Elisabeth Dramsdahl MD, Dag Gundersen Storla MD and Marco Harari MD

Background: Multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation for patients presenting with rheumatic diseases has been shown to produce better results in a warm climate. Dead Sea Climatotherapy (DSC) has been successfully used for decades to treat many patients with rheumatic diseases.

Objectives: To evaluate the short-term improvement of Norwegian patients who presented with chronic pain following a multidisciplinary biopsychosocial approach to treatment combined with DSC. Both objective and subjective clinical parameters were evaluated.

Methods: This retrospective study included a statistical analysis of 938 patients presenting with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (n=105), osteoarthritis (n=342), fibromyalgia (n=374), and other orthopedic conditions (n=117). Clinical assessments were conducted before and after a 3 week treatment program at the Dead Sea.

Results: Six parameters improved significantly in the rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis group as well as in the osteoarthritis group. Five parameters in the fibromyalgia group improved, while two improved in the orthopedic conditions group. Overall, major significant changes occurred in the pain self-assessment, joint motility, and daily activities scores.

Conclusions: A 3-week multidisciplinary biopsychosocial program combined with DSC induced positive changes in the clinical parameters of Norwegian patients presenting with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

May 2018
Mansour Khoury MD, Sigalit Caspi RN, Ruth Stalnikowics MD, Elad Peless RN, Ela Raiizman RN MA and Shaden Salameh MD MHA

Background: Acute musculoskeletal pain is one of the most commonly reported symptoms among patients visiting the emergency department (ED). Treatment with over-the-counter pain medications, given by nurses, results in improved pain management and reduces the waiting time to drug administration without significant side effects. Opioid analgesics are extensively used for acute pain in the ED. Compared to morphine, oxycodone has a much more specific pharmacological activity, higher analgesic potential, and more tolerable side effects.

Objectives: To assess the degree of pain reduction using different protocols, including dypirone and oxycodone given by nurses, in treating acute musculoskeletal pain in the emergency department (primary outcome) and to evaluate the need for rescue medications (secondary outcome).

Methods: This observational prospective clinical trial compared two groups of 50 patients, each one visiting the ED due to musculoskeletal pain. One group was treated with dipyrone syrup and the other was treated with oxycodone syrup. The primary outcome was pain reduction measured by the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). The secondary outcome was the difference in need for rescue medications.

Results: The reduction in the NRS was greater in the patients treated with oxycodone. This finding was statistically and clinically significant (P < 0.001). The need for rescue medications was also significantly reduced in this group of patients (P = 0.007).

Conclusions: This study showed that the administration of over-the-counter oxycodone syrup by nurses decreases the post-treatment pain reported by patients, reduces the need for rescue medications, and increases the satisfaction of the medical staff.

April 2011
M. Harari, E. Dramsdahl, S. Shany, Y. Baumfeld, A. Ingber, V. Novack and S. Sukenik

Background: Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are required by the skin for the production of vitamin D. The intensity of UVB at the Dead Sea area is the lowest in the world. Low vitamin D levels are often associated with musculoskeletal symptoms.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of climatotherapy at the Dead Sea on the production of vitamin D in Norwegian patients suffering from various rheumatic diseases and to investigate possible associations between increased vitamin D serum levels, musculoskeletal symptoms and disease severity.

Methods: Sixty Norwegian patients who came to the Dead Sea area for 21 days of medical rehabilitation were divided into three groups according to their diagnosis: chronic pain syndromes, i.e., low back pain or fibromyalgia (Group 1, n=33); rheumatoid arthritis (Group 2, n=16); and osteoarthritis (Group 3, n=11). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) levels were determined at arrival and prior to departure. The treatment protocol included daily sun exposure (climatotherapy), bathing in the Dead Sea and mineral spring water (balneotherapy), mud applications and fitness classes.

Results: 25-OH-D serum levels increased significantly from 71.3 ± 26.6 nM at arrival to 89.3 ± 23.2 nM prior to departure (P < 0.001). Adjusted for the initial levels of pain (assessed by a visual analog scale) and disease severity, a direct correlation was observed between increased 25-OH-D serum levels and pain reduction (P = 0.012) and reduction of disease severity (P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea induces significant changes in vitamin D. Increased 25-OH-D serum levels are associated with reduced musculoskeletal pain and disease severity.
 

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