Opioids Should Not Be a Front-Line Therapy.
Consider Other Pain Management Options Before You Prescribe Opioids.
Scientific evidence suggests complementary approaches help people manage chronic pain. Social and psychological factors should be identified and treated first. Non-pharmacologic therapies and non-opioid pharmacologic therapies should be considered first. Because of the recommended multimodal approaches to pain management, a multidisciplinary team approach is invaluable in developing effective alternatives to opioids for managing pain.
Evidence Suggests Other Treatments Provide Relief and Benefits.
Other modes of pain management have proven effective and should be considered first to treat common conditions such as back pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, and neuropathic pain. Medications such as Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and topical agents work well. Non-pharmacologic therapies — including exercise such as walking, swimming, and yoga; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), including biofeedback and relaxation techniques; and physical therapy and acupuncture — have also proven to be successful.
A Self-Management Program Can Help Patients Manage Chronic Pain.
In Delaware, the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP) is conducted by trained educators who understand chronic pain and can help patients learn what they can do to gain the skills they need to self-manage day-to-day challenges associated with chronic pain, in coordination with their health care team. Classes are open to adults of all ages and abilities. The self-management program is evidence-based, uses a holistic approach, and was originally developed at Stanford University. Sessions are available in all the Delaware hospitals and at federally qualified health centers.
- Workshops are held for six weeks, in small groups.
- Locations are handicap accessible.
- Sessions are highly interactive and led by professionals.
- Self-management programs complement existing programs or treatments.