CDC Proposing New Opioid Use Guidelines
For the first time since 2016 and the recognition of the opioid crisis across America, the CDC is proposing new opioid use guidelines for clinical practice in 2022. The CDC guidelines are not mandatory. According to the summary contained in the Proposed 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids they are meant to “support, not supplant, clinical judgment and individualized, patient-centered decision-making. This clinical practice guideline is not intended to be applied as inflexible standards of care across patient populations by healthcare professionals, health systems, third-party payers, organizations, or governmental jurisdictions. “
Although the clinical guidelines issued by the CDC are voluntary for practitioners to follow, they were often adhered to by physicians to avoid false accusations of inappropriately prescribing opioids. This will be especially true after the explosion of the opioid crisis and its ramifications for physicians, pharmacists, and drug manufacturers who are walking a tightrope with addictive pain relievers.
Pain Relief is a Medical Specialty
Pain relief is a medical specialty practiced best by physicians who have studied how to relieve chronic and acute pain effectively. According to the AAMC there are slightly over 5800 active physicians who specialize in pain medicine and management among the more than 552,000 who practice a medical specialty.
Physicians fearful of prescribing opioids are at a loss for how to relieve the chronic and long-term pain of their patients. This leaves patients who can get pain relief for a short period, the length of one prescription that the average physician is still willing to write for acute pain. The Pain Management Physician will become a key player in assisting other clinicians in relieving the pain of patients with a variety of ailments.
Fearing repercussions if opioid prescriptions bear their names physicians from PCP’s to Oncologists are drastically reducing the pain relief they prescribe. Patients who find that their physician is not able to alleviate their chronic, or long-term pain should seek a referral to a Pain Management Physician. These physicians are skilled at using a variety of FDA approved and CDC recommended pain relief options beyond prescribing opioids.
Pain Relief Options
The skilled Pain Management Physician who is dedicated to the latest methods in the art of pain relief is skilled at a variety of procedures. Along with injectable and oral drugs beyond opioids, the Pain Management Specialist through by their pursuit of education and certifications can offer patients pain relief with the latest acceptable methods. Among the many that they are practiced at include:
- Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection
- Radiofrequency Neurotomy of Lumbar Facets
- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
- Joint Injections
- Genicular Nerve Block
In pursuing the art of Pain Management, these Physicians have often gone the extra mile and studied the specialty of anesthesiology and its techniques. This makes them extraordinarily capable of analyzing, diagnosing and treating chronic and long-term pain with the best available solution.
Here and Now Pain Relief
The opioid crisis lit a fire under pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and medical practitioners to come up with alternate pain-relieving solutions. While waiting for the latest pain relief solutions to prove their worth, Pain Management Physicians offer alternatives here and now for pain relief.