ACOEM Issues Treatment Guidelines for Workers with Chronic Pain

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has published new medical treatment guidelines for providing care to workers with chronic pain. More than 200 recommendations are outlined in the new evidence-based guidelines, which were developed by a multi-disciplinary panel of national experts and were reviewed by representatives of leading medical and health organizations.

The recommendations focus on diagnostic and other testing and treatments for several chronic pain conditions, including complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), neuropathic pain, trigger points/myofascial pain, chronic persistent pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic low back pain. Other highlights of the new chronic pain guidelines include:

  • An in-depth review of over 20 medications used to treat patients with chronic pain.
  • Detailed recommendations regarding the use of therapies, such as magnets, acupuncture, manipulation/mobilization, and electrical therapies.
  • Uses and limitations of injection therapies.
  • A discussion of spinal cord stimulation for CRPS and other painful conditions.
  • A detailed review of psychological services and rehabilitation for delayed recovery, including biofeedback, work conditioning/work hardening/early intervention programs, and interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation programs.
  • A focus on functional restoration, including an active exercise program and behavioral program.

For more information about the chronic pain guidelines or ACOEM's Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, visit www.acoem.org.

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