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Guest Post: How Behavioral Conditions Worsen Chronic Pain

Posted By Omar Manejwala, M.D., Wednesday, April 25, 2018


We have no right to help one set of patients while harming another.  With media attention on the opioid overdose crisis and widespread efforts to reduce opioid prescribing implemented across systems of care, there is a real risk that people who are suffering from chronic pain are being forgotten—or worse—vilified.  In the chaos of competing ideas about how to address these twin crises, the Academy of Integrative Pain Management launched an ambitious effort—a “policy congress” in October 2017 that invited the ideas and active participation of the major stakeholders—even including those experiencing chronic pain themselves.  The group was tasked to answer one question: what is comprehensive integrative pain management?  This deceptively simple question led to several more.  Is it medical or psychological?  What is the role of spirituality in recovery?  What about complementary approaches?

Among other areas of consensus, policy congress participants generally seemed to agree with the idea that behavioral drivers play a key role.  In my recent article, How Behavioral Conditions Worsen Chronic Pain, I explore how behavioral conditions worsen chronic pain and how we might better integrate behavioral healthcare in our approaches to managing this challenging condition. 

Read the full article here.

Omar Manejwala, M.D. is a psychiatrist and the Chief Medical Officer of Catasys.

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