Chronic pain can be one of the most challenging and frustrating presentations in primary care; it is rarely treated to the full satisfaction of either provider or patient. The process is much more likely to be successful if it has included a good diagnostic workup and therapeutic trials; however, reframing the classic expectation in the doctor-patient relationship of patients ‘seeking a cure’ and providers ‘having a cure’ is key to management of chronic pain. Over time, it is important – both for patients and for providers –to aim for a degree of acceptance of chronic pain as a relapsing-and-remitting problem and that goals of treatment should be towards improving function and reducing pain to a manageable degree, rather than removing it, from their lives. Consider counselling them as you would a smoker –– identify their stage of change and deliver the right intervention for the stage they are at.

Please use the following resources.

Download: Pain Inventory

Download: Opioid Risk Tool

Download: Pharmacologic Options for Chronic Pain