Health issues in the United States can be hard to quantify, and no single factor is more prevalent than the pain and discomfort associated with them.
With the recent announcement of new pain medications, it seems that many doctors and patients are now seeking answers to this question.
With over 1.4 billion Americans suffering from chronic pain, one of the most common chronic pain conditions is the chronic non-surgical infection, or “jock” itch.
The jock itch is caused by the presence of the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), and is an important indicator of the risk of contracting HSV-2 and HIV.
In the U.S., approximately one in five people is infected with HSV, and one in 10 of these individuals will contract the jock-type infection in their lifetime.
While the incidence of HSV infections has declined in recent years, the risk for HSV infection remains high, and as a result, people are seeking additional treatments.
A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that pain relief with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with significantly lower levels of the jampark-type HSV and the virus that causes the condition.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University at Buffalo Medical Center analyzed data from over 12,000 people with chronic nonsteroidal-inflammatory pain (NSIPP), who had undergone HSV testing between 2004 and 2012.
Using data from more than 5,500 HSV seropositive people who participated in a nationwide survey, the researchers found that those who had experienced moderate to severe pain were significantly less likely to report an increased risk for infection.
Among those who reported moderate or severe pain, those who took NSAIDs had significantly lower HSV levels compared to those who did not.
In addition, researchers found significantly lower rates of infection with HSIV among those who received NSAIDs.
Study author Dr. Mark Kramaroff said the findings suggest that NSAIDs can be beneficial in patients with HSVI infection, as long as the NSAIDs are taken at doses that are comparable to those used for other common medications.
Although many of the medications commonly used for pain relief have been found to lower HSVI levels, they are often taken at a higher dose than prescribed by healthcare providers.
Dr. Krambauer said he hopes this study will encourage more patients to seek out non-pharmacological treatments for pain and itching, and encourage them to take precautions such as wearing a latex glove when using the medication.
“If you do use these medications, please do so under your doctor’s supervision,” Dr. Jammars said.
“The risk of infection should be considered in all patients, even if you are in a group of people who are at a high risk for acquiring HSV.”