The opioid crisis has brought a focus to chronic pain as an important public health issue. What you may not realize, though, is that more than half of opioid prescriptions were written for adults with arthritis which, along with back pain, are the most common causes of chronic pain. And half of those with diabetes and heart disease are also dealing with arthritis and the associated chronic pain that limits recommended physical activity for those conditions. Those with multiple chronic conditions are both a clinical and a public health reality!
But what’s the alternative to opioids? What can we, as public health and chronic disease professionals, do to help the public’s understanding of how individuals can modify their behavior to deal with pain due to arthritis, which will also help them address many of the other conditions they may be experiencing?
In this month’s General Member webinar, Dr. Chad Helmick, MD, the scientific lead for CDC’s Arthritis Program and Dr. Leigh Callahan, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill, will help us learn how the growing attention to chronic pain can help us address these other public health conditions. From them, you’ll learn the facts about the connections between chronic pain and the issues you deal with every day, as well as behavioral strategies, guidelines and resources you can use in your public health and chronic disease practice areas. In addition, you will hear from Tara Weston, MPH, and J. Hildegard Hinkel, MPH, of Oregon, who will discuss the interventions and tools they are using in their state.