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Effective Pain Management Requires an Interdisciplinary Approach

Clinicians from a variety of disciplines to gather at the American Academy of Pain Management's 18th Annual Meeting to discuss the undertreatment of

pain and discover ways to treat pain

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pain is the number one public health problem in the U.S., affecting an estimated 76.5 million Americans according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The number of people living with pain is greater than those with diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer combined. (American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society). Most pain is untreated or undertreated, particularly among African Americans, Hispanics, women, and the elderly.

Consider these facts:

-- The annual cost of chronic pain in the U.S., including healthcare, lost

income, and lost productivity, is estimated to be $100 billion.

(National Institutes of Health)

-- Low back pain is the most common type of pain followed by severe

headache or migraine pain, neck pain, and facial ache or pain.

(National Institute of Health Statistics)

-- African Americans and Hispanics are affected by racial profiling for

diversion and undertreatment by some physicians. (National Center for

Health Statistics)

-- Women seek help for pain more frequently than men, but are less likely

to receive treatment. (National Center for Health Statistics)

-- A Johns Hopkins study of adults with nonmalignant pain (42% back pain)

who were consecutively referred to a tertiary care pain center shows

nineteen-percent reported current passive suicidal ideation, 13% had

active thoughts of committing suicide, 5% had a current suicide plan,

and 5% reported a previous suicide attempts.

The American Academy of Pain Management (the Academy), the only professional organization dedicated to educating clinicians about pain from an interdisciplinary perspective, will address the undertreatment of pain as well as new ways to treat pain at its 18th Annual Clinical Meeting, from September 27-30, 2007, at the Red Rock Resort, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Called, "Knowledge, Compassion, and Care," this meeting will bring together clinicians from a wide variety of disciplines and medical traditions (Eastern and Western) to learn about current diagnostic methods, treatment strategies, and research in pain management. The meeting will feature world- renowned speakers, and include presentations on the pharmacological management of pain, behavioral therapies, and psychosocial aspects of pain. The meeting will also include discussion about pain management from an ethical perspective.

"Pain is arguably America's number one public health problem. Yet most pain goes untreated or is undertreated," says Lennie Duensing, Executive Director of the Academy. "Millions of Americans suffer with pain that is debilitating and prevents them from leading normal lives because most healthcare professionals have not been educated about how to treat pain. Another reason is that effective pain management most often requires interdisciplinary treatment, which most patients do not receive. To complicate things more, many healthcare professionals are now fearful about prescribing opioids - powerful, but highly effective, medications that are often abused. At this unique meeting, clinicians will learn together and network to discover ways to provide quality care for people with chronic pain."

Highlights of the Academy's meeting include the following speakers, symposia, and presentations:

Ethics Symposium: Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Chronic Nonmalignant Pain This symposium will address discrimination (racial, class, ethnic, gender) in treating pain as well as the legal side of treating pain and the responsibility of the physician. Featured speakers include:

-- Myra Christopher, President and CEO of the Center for Practical


-- Jennifer Bolen, JD, former Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S.

Department of Justice and founder of The Legal Side of Pain, an

educational company dedicated to working with health care providers on

medico-legal issues on the use of controlled substances to treat pain.

-- Doug Gourlay, MD, anesthesiologist at Wasser Pain Management Centre,

Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, specializing in the assessment and

management of pain and addictive disorders.

Emerging Solutions in Pain: The Interface of Pain and Addiction is a 7- hour symposium that discusses addictions, solutions in pain management and the role of federal regulations. This symposium is supported through an educational grant from Cephalon Pharmacy.

New Thoughts About Opioid Analgesia and Chronic Pain by Bill McCarberg, MD, family medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, Assistant Clinical Professor for the University of California, San Diego, and founder and former director of the Chronic Pain Management program for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. This symposium will address the many advances that have occurred in our knowledge of the appropriate uses of opioids for a variety of pain syndromes.

Aberrant Drug Taking Behaviors During Pain Management - What do we know? by Steven D. Passik, PhD, Associate Attending Psychologist for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Cornell University in New York City.

Rational and Vigilant Prescribing of Controlled Substances by Scott M. Fishman, MD, Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

Keynote Presentation: The Pain Cycle from a Patient's Point of View by Dennis Kinch, a patient who suffers from chronic pain and walked the length of Route 66 (3,000 miles) to raise awareness of his experience and that of the millions of people who are also in pain.

Update on Headache Pain and Treatment Options, by John Claude Krusz, PhD, MD, a prominently recognized expert in the fields of headache, migraine, and pain treatment. A neurologist in Dallas, Texas, he serves as the head of his multidisciplinary clinic, the Anodyne Headache and PainCare Center.

Mechanisms and New Treatment of CRPS by Robert Schwartzman, MD, Professor and the Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the MCP Hahnemann University School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Neuropathic Pain Foundation. Schwartzman is internationally known for his work on Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which he has researched for more than 30 years. A leading proponent of ketamine, an anesthetic, Schwartzman is currently involved in studying the use of high doses of ketamine to block abnormal pain NMDA receptors.

The American Academy of Pain Management is a non-profit organization that serves a broad range of clinicians who treat people with pain. Founded in 1988, the Academy has approximately 6,000 members and is the largest interdisciplinary pain organization in the United States. The Academy believes that effective pain management can be achieved through cooperation, shared knowledge, and the collective wisdom of healthcare professionals from many disciplines.

SOURCE The American Academy of Pain Management
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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