Joseph Rasor, Gerald Harris. Using Opioids for Patients With Moderate to Severe Pain. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2007;107(suppl_5):ES4–ES10. doi: .
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In the United States, many visits to physician offices are for complaints of pain. Patients who have moderate to severe pain can be effectively treated with different modalities, including opioids. Proper management requires that physicians be open-minded and thorough. Physicians should take a complete history and perform a complete physical evaluation including an osteopathic structural examination to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. This strategy should include follow-up visits for continued assessment of therapy. Continued reassessment of treatment and patient responsiveness have been shown to be most beneficial to both physician and patient. Using the osteopathic medical model of treatment, physicians should identify psychosocial as well as somatic dysfunctions and appropriately treat patients for them. They should not avoid prescribing opioids because of fear of a patient's becoming addicted, but instead, integrate the use of such important analgesics in a multidisciplinary treatment plan. However, it must be recognized that opioids are powerful medications that require monitoring and dosing according to patient response.
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