Module C: Pain Management: Chronic Pain

CE Credits: 1.1

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This module looks at the variety of pharmaceutical treatments for chronic pain (from aspirin to opioids and even antidepressants) as well as complementary and alternative medicines (or CAMs, ranging from heat pads to relaxation techniques). The module also explores referrals and intervention techniques that are more drastic, such as epidural injections and nerve blocks done at pain clinics. Finally, it lays out the guidelines that are needed to safely prescribe opioids to chronic pain patients.

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Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Identify the unique characteristics and provide an overview of chronic non-cancer pain classifications and syndromes
» Discuss chronic non-cancer pain management
» Describe the role of pain management in rehabilitation
» Determine the need for a pain clinic referral and interventional pain management to include epidural steroid injections and
implanted pumps and stimulators
» Discuss the pain management standards and guidelines for chronic pain management and the case manager’s role in the treatment
and management of chronic pain

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Advance your professional practice:: Chronic pain presents a dilemma to case managers, who must balance the needs of the patient with the risks of some long-term treatments. By understanding all of the effective options for chronic pain management, we can help patients return to a normal lifestyle and reduce the risks of either untreated pain or problems related to the treatments themselves.

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Improve organizational performance: Issues related to chronic pain—whether related to a diagnosed disease or stemming from unidentifiable sources—increasingly bring patients into doctors’ offices and hospitals, and is a major contributor to healthcare costs. By understanding the breadth of pain management options, and coordinating the pain management guidelines and practices with a team, we can find the most effective treatment in the most efficient manner. As a result, we can shorten hospital stays and reduce the number of return visits to doctors’ offices.