TRACK: OEM Clinical Practice
Russell Gelfman, MD, MS, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN
The number of Americans affected by chronic pain exceeds the number affected by diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. It is one of the most common reasons for seeking health care, is a leading cause of short-term disability, and is the most common cause of long-term disability. It represents a significant portion of the 20% of injured workers who contribute to 80% of the costs involved in workers’ compensation. Despite these statistics, the average physician is often poorly informed about current neuroscience theories of pain and the benefits and risks of various treatment options for pain. As a result, acute and chronic pain is often inadequately treated. This presentation will review current theories of pain on the continuum from acute to chronic and review treatment options in light of this knowledge to improve the care of injured workers who experience disabling musculoskeletal pain.