Themes from PAINWEEK’17

I had the privilege to attend this year’s PAINWEEK conference in Las Vegas from Sept. 5-9th. Though the schedule was grueling, the presentations and speakers were well worth the time investment.

Certain themes were recurrent during this 5-day conference. Below is a list of themes from PAINWEEK that standout in my memory:

  • Pain is a crisis
  • Opioid overdoses & deaths are a crisis
  • Pain is complex
  • Multimodal therapies and approaches are needed for excellent pain management
  • NSAIDS need to be used cautiously.
  • Non-pharmacologic treatment options need to be covered by insurance for chronic pain patients.
  • Coping strategies, resiliency, social support, exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are effective in pain management.
  • Pharmaceutical companies are continuing to create new abuse-deterrent opioid formulations but nothing is 100% tamper-proof.
  • Most opioids taken without a prescription are taken from friends and families.
  • Glial cells are active players in pain management and a new targeted site for pain management treatments.
  • Arachnoiditis is underdiagnosed and catastrophic if not treated. Failed back syndrome and spinal stenosis are two examples of problems associated arachnoiditis. MRIs can show nerves sticking to the lining of the arachnoid lining of spinal cord.
  • Low-dose ketamine (PO & IV) work on NMDA receptors and is another tool in our armamentarium.
  • Inflammation from Standard American Diet (SAD) leads to pain. Anti-inflammatory diets can help. (THIS topic hit home.)
  • Neuroplasticity may be reversible.
  • AND FINALLY, CONSTIPATION NEVER GOES AWAY WHEN TAKING OPIOIDS. Several effective products are now on market to treat Opioid-induced constipation (OIC.)

*Check out this link to the Clinical Pain Advisor for PAINWEEK’17 conference presentation coverages. http://bit.ly/2eUc6c2