About the book
The management of pain is a challenge for global health care. Chronic pain is prevalent in the population and yet tailored pain management is not commonly available. The epidemic of opioid addiction has been well publicized in the US and is a major concern for health care worldwide. To prevent problems of similar magnitude developing in Europe, recent guidelines no long recommend the prescription of opioids for diverse range of pain conditions including fibromyalgia, migraine and chronic cancer pain. However, alternatives to manage pain are not well developed, despite chronic pain recently being recognized as an independent disease by ICD-11. Effective management of pain, particularly chronic pain, is a particular challenge for health care for a number of reasons. These include the multiple underlying causes of pain as well as the uncertainty with regards to how chronic pain conditions develop in some patients after acute pain. For pain management to be effective, research into the mechanisms underlying the formation of chronic pain is essential; biomarkers of chronic pain could help to monitor the efficacy of an intervention; appropriate pain measurement would benefit understanding of appropriate management; quantitative sensory testing can provide insights into individual differences that may influence both pain experience and intervention success.
In terms of novel approaches to pain management; recent advances and technological developments lead to exciting new possibilities for pain management. New neuromodulation methodologies are emerging that have potential applications for pain control including photobiomodulation and optogenetics as well as non-invasive neurostimulation based on the application of weak electric currents. Novel stimulation protocols have also been developed for more traditional invasive forms of neuromodulation. For pharmacological approaches, the potential of cannabinoids for pain relief is becoming increasingly apparent. Well established non-pharmacological approaches to pain management, including physiotherapy, self-management and exercise are being developed. While pain management approaches are diversifying many difficulties remain to be addressed. Furthermore the COVID-19 pandemic has provided additional challenges for ensuring adequate pain management. However, the pandemic also has led to opportunities to implement remote monitoring and management interventions.
Overall this book will address the state-of-the art in innovative pain management taking a highly interdisciplinary approach; from physiological mechanisms and neuromodulation through to exercise, physiotherapy and self-management.