Scott Metzger, MD, SEM Pain Consulting, discusses some recent emerging trends in pain management, including spinal cord stimulators and implantable devices. Physicians face many challenges with pain management, as pain is typically complex and difficult to understand. Pain is also difficult to diagnose and manage. The discovery of nonopioid agents for pain management has become particularly important considering the ongoing opioid epidemic.
Chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans, or one-third of the U.S. population. Approximately 25 million people experience moderate to severe chronic pain with significant pain-related activity limitations and diminished quality of life. In addition to the burden of suffering, pain is the primary reason Americans are on disability.