A federal task force calls for more individualized approach to pain management

A federal task force is suggesting a far more individualized approach to pain management in the wake of the opioid epidemic.

In a draft report, the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force said effective pain management needs to take into account all aspects of a patient including his or her biology, social ties and psychology.

This implies thinking beyond medications to manage pain, instead of just finding alternatives to opioids, according to the report. Physical therapy, alternative therapies like acupuncture, activities like yoga and tai chi, and cognitive therapy are all components to be considered in a treatment plan.

The task force said in the report that it is imperative to strike a balance between ensuring that patients with painful conditions can work with their healthcare providers to come up with an integrative pain treatment plan that optimizes function, quality of life and productivity at the same time putting an end to the devastating effects of opioid misuse.

The task force, convened as a part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, includes providers, patients and government employees.

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