A New Prescription for the Discussion of Non-pharmacological Interventions with Chronic Pain Patients

By Shoba Sreenivasan, Ph.D. & Linda E. Weinberger, Ph.D.

A patient in chronic pain wants their pain gone. Perhaps this is easier said than done. Pain management is complex and has no certain or easy solutions. Surgery may not improve, or may even exacerbate, the pain (e.g., as in low back pain). Non-opioid pharmacological treatments may also prove less than satisfactory. Chronic pain causes emotional pain; which, ironically, can result in heightening the patient's sensitivity to their physical pain. The debilitating effects of chronic pain span across physical, emotional, social, and occupational functioning. In its 2014 report, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of