New Pain Guidelines Released

More than 200 evidenced-based recommendations for chronic pain are outlined
By Pat F. Bass, M.D.
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has released new medical treatment guidelines for the care of workers with chronic pain syndromes, representing the latest chapter in Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, available online. A print version of the guidelines will be available in September.

A multi-disciplinary panel of national experts developed the guidelines, which focus on diagnostic and other testing and treatments for common chronic pain conditions such as: complex regional pain syndrome, neuropathic pain, trigger points/myofascial pain, chronic persistent pain, fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. In developing the guidelines, the group reviewed more than 1,500 references, including 546 randomized controlled trials.

The guideline extensively reviews medications (prescription, over-the-counter, complementary and alternative) and provides detailed recommendations regarding the use of appliances such as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, allied health-delivered therapies such as manipulation, and electrical therapies such as a TENS unit for the treatment of chronic pain. Both the indications and limitations of injection therapy are reviewed. Finally, the guideline focuses on functional restoration and the development of a comprehensive program that includes addressing psychological services.

"These guidelines were developed using ACOEM's published methodology, which incorporates the highest scientific standards for reviewing evidence-based literature, ensuring the most rigorous, reproducible and transparent occupational health guidelines available," said Robert R. Orford, M.D., ACOEM president. "Literally thousands of hours of review of the available scientific literature went into this process, yielding what we consider state-of-the-art medical guidelines."

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