Reimagining How We Treat Acute Pain: A Narrative Review

Castroman P, Quiroga O, Mayoral Rojals V, Gomez M, Moka E, Pergolizzi J jr, Varrassi G, et al.
Reimagining How We Treat Acute Pain: A Narrative Review.
Cureus (April 09, 2022) 14(4): e23992. doi:10.7759/cureus.23992

Abstract

Acute pain may be influenced by biopsychosocial factors. Conditioned pain modulation, distraction, peripheral nerve stimulation, and cryoneurolysis may be helpful in its treatment. New developments in opioids, such as opioids with bifunctional targets and oliceridine, may be particularly suited for acute pain care. Allosteric modulators can enhance receptor subtype selectivity, offering analgesia with fewer and/or less severe side effects. Neuroinflammation in acute pain is caused by direct insult to the central nervous system and is distinct from neuroinflammation in degenerative disorders. Pharmacologic agents targeting the neuroinflammatory process are limited at this time. Postoperative pain is a prevalent form of acute pain and must be recognized as a global public health challenge. This type of pain may be severe, impede rehabilitation, and is often under-treated. A subset of surgical patients develops chronic postsurgical pain. Acute pain is not just temporally limited pain that often resolves on its own. It is an important subject for further research as acute pain may transition into more damaging and debilitating chronic pain. Reimagining how we treat acute pain will help us better address this urgent unmet medical need. 

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