Pain management

JAOA article discusses the osteopathic approach to chronic pain

Opioids are no longer the go-to treatment option for the 100 million Americans with chronic pain.


As a result of the current opioid epidemic, many physicians are either not prescribing opioids or are severely limiting prescriptions for patients living with chronic pain. Therefore, physicians need alternative treatment options for their patients.

In a recent article in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, John A. Jerome, PhD, outlines the osteopathic approach to caring for this population. “We need a complete change in thinking about the management of chronic pain,” says Dr. Jerome.

In traditional medical pain management, physicians are responsible for solving the chronic pain conundrum. Chronic pain self-management, on the other hand, requires an active, collaborative patient-physician relationship with a shared goal of pain management.

“Rather than prescribing opioids as a first-line treatment for chronic pain,” writes Dr. Jerome, “physicians should thoroughly assess the patient’s pain and consider managing the pain’s effect on the patient’s mood, function, and quality of life.” In this relationship, patients become their own change agents.

Read the full article for evaluation tips and treatment options such as cognitive behavioral strategies in the JAOA’s May 2017 issue.

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