Pain Management

What & Why

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Pain Management focuses on improving management of acute and chronic pain, establishing safety margins for individual prescriptions, identifying and treating pain generators, and developing strategies to empower patients in managing their pain.

Statistical research findings regarding wound injuries acquired during OIF or OEF demonstrate the need to prioritize medical research in this area:

  • According to the Army Office of the Surgeon General, since 2001, there have been more than 1,200 amputations in OIF, OEF and unaffiliated conflicts –half of which were caused by IEDs
  • Roughly 47% of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have reported pain-related problems and symptoms (American Academy of Pain Medicine, 2008).
  • Pain is a leading cause of short- and long-term disability among military personnel
  • Of soldiers injured in OIF/OEF, ~71% present to the theater hospitals with significant pain as defined by a score of 5 or greater on a 0-10 scale. Approximately 49.6% had pain scores of 7 or greater, indicating severe pain (JTTR, 2008)

Top Priorities

Scientific steering committees were formed to identify and prioritize current and future research needs. Capability gaps were analyzed and rankings were assigned to address the areas of need. Results helped the CRMRP to establish program direction, priorities, and funding strategies.

In the area of Pain Management, specific capabilities in need of supporting research include:

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  • Need for alternatives to current opioid analgesics for severe pain management by the medic/corpsman on the battlefield/remote locations
  • Better chronic pain management strategies for primary care providers in non-deployed settings
  • Identification of pain generators
  • Acute pain management following trauma and in resource-limited environments
  • Strategies for identifying and addressing biopsychosocial aspects of pain
  • Strategies for management of acute pain under the care of a clinician
  • Chronic pain management following trauma and in resource-limited environments
  • Substance misuse and abuse assessments and treatments in pain management

Work in Progress

Examples of projects currently under way:

Examples of projects currently under way, pill bottle, Sufentanil NanoTab
  • Chronic Pain Treatment by Controlled Release of Local Anesthetics from Biocompatible Hydrogel Wound Dressings
  • Pharmacological Studies of NOP Receptor Agonists as Novel Analgesics
  • Development of a Novel Therapy for Chronic Neuropathic Pain
  • Development of a Novel Injectable Controlled Analgesic Delivery System for Effective Pain Management