Opioids & Neuropathic Pain

Opioids & Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain—a state of complex, chronic pain caused by damage or disease affecting the somatosensory nervous system—may not be fully manageable with opioid therapy alone. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta and published in Pain Medicine found that while opioids do help lessen the severity of pain, they are limited in their ability to help improve physical functioning. Study author Geoff Bostick, associate professor of physical therapy at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, says that while opioids certainly have a role to play in helping patients manage their complex and chronic pain, their failure to address the full scope of factors associated with such pain make them insufficient as a stand-alone treatment option. He calls for the need to develop alternative medications to assist chronic pain sufferers improve physical functioning and mobility, as well as for further research on the connection between increased activity levels and better quality of life for those with chronic pain.

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