Alan Kaye, MD, PhD: Rheumatology and Pain Management

Facets of managing pain for rheumatology patients.

Many patients with rheumatologic conditions have pain states and there have been great advancements in interventional pain.

During a presentation at the Congress of Clinical Rheumatology East 2020, Alan Kaye, MD, PhD, will discuss what is new in rheumatology and pain. Hopefully, he said, everyone in the audience may consider treating their patients with something different.

There is a big demand from state and federal officials to not give out opioids as they once were prescribed. Kaye said there are many adjuvants to such therapies, including regenerative medicine, the mild procedure, and spinal cord stimulation.

Regenerative medicine uses substances like stem cells and activated platelets that help regrow and heal joints, discs, and inflamed areas. There are now many publications that have demonstrated efficacy in such a treatment.

The mild procedure is relatively new and is a technique to help patients manage hypertrophied ligamentum flavum that can pinch off nerve roots and cause difficult chronic pain states. Kaye believes many rheumatologists have not heard about the fairly new procedure.

Spinal cord stimulation has advanced technologically so it is better accepted by patients. There are fewer sensations and side effects that made the technique land at the forefront of treatment for chronic pain.

“All three of those topics fit perfectly for a rheumatologist who might have patients who have chronic pain and have been only receiving pain meds, opiates,” Kaye said.

With the government looking at every prescription written, the best way to overcome this is to look at adjuvant therapies and interventional medicine techniques.