Alan Kaye, MD, PhD: Treating Pain Traditionally and with Alternate Therapies


Alan Kaye, MD, PhD, joins DocTalk during Pain Awareness Month to discuss opioids, alternate pain therapies, and caring for patients with pain.

September is Pain Awareness Month, a time when various organizations work to raise public awareness of the issues of pain and pain management. With that, it is important to recognize the different types of pain patients experience from a variety of disease states.

While there are traditional methods of treating pain, such as prescribing opioids, an epidemic has led to addiction, overdose, and death. According to the CDC, an average of 41 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2018, totaling nearly 15,000. Still, there was a 13.5% decrease in prescription opioid-involved death rates from 2017 to 2018.

Although typically opioids are prescribed to treat pain, guidances have been instilled to limit the number of pills prescribed to patients. And alternate therapies and technologies exist to completely remove opioids from the treatment plan of patients.

I had the opportunity to speak to Alan Kaye, MD, PhD, a pain interventionist and professor at LSU Health School of Medicine, to discuss the importance of recognizing Pain Awareness Month, which was first declared a medical holiday in 2001, alternate treatments for pain, drugs in the pipeline, caring for a patient with pain, and much more.

We hope you enjoy the talk.

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