Wayne Jonas, MD, executive director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs at H&S Ventures, discusses what new therapies are emerging in the world of pain management.
Are there any newer therapies for pain on the horizon that you are keeping an eye on?
Well, there's a number of them and the evidence is growing more and more for these. For those that are interested in, in kind of keeping up with what is reaching the level of sufficient evidence to consider for your own practice. I would urge you to look at the VA's Whole Health website, where they have a list of currently recommended approaches for chronic illness many of which are for chronic pain.
[Some] CME [continuing medical education] courses list current approaches that now have sufficient evidence to consider for everybody to put into these areas.
I know there are also increasing approaches to chronic pain with new drugs, for example, ketamine. But ketamine has great addictive potential and it can be used only cautiously in certain types of patients, chronic regional pain syndrome, for example, and some types of neuropathy. It needs to be used carefully. Most of the time has to be given [intravenous] in the office.
So, there these are new therapies that are of interest, but they need to be used appropriately based on good evidence and integrated with the leading components for chronic pain management that impact patients in the long run, which are the behavior, lifestyle, and nonpharmacological approaches.