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This review is intended to improve the provider’s ability to safely treat chronic pain. The general concepts of pain management are summarized, with a focus on drug therapy options. Greater emphasis is placed on opioids due to the current opioid epidemic in the US, and the responsibility of healthcare providers to help prevent abuse and misuse.

Chronic pain management is a global health priority. Millions of adults (11%-19% of the US population) suffer daily from chronic, noncancer pain. A conservative estimate of the economic burden of pain in the US, including both healthcare costs and lost work productivity, is $560 - $635 billion annually. Most patients use a combination of non-drug approaches and medication to help alleviate pain. Although all drug treatments have risks that must be carefully weighed against the potential benefits, opioids carry the significant risks of addiction and respiratory depression. The increasing rate of opioid overdose deaths, which was 5 times higher in 2016 compared with 1999, has overwhelmed this country – and created pressure for providers to improve their knowledge of pain management...


Managing Chronic Pain

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