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Papers of the Week

2020 May 11

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Physician-Delivered Pain Neuroscience Education for Opioid Tapering: A Case Report.


Agarwal V, Louw A, Puentedura EJ
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 11; 17(9).
PMID: 32403225.


We describe the case of a 75-year-old female with chronic low back pain (CLBP), on opioids for more than 15 years. She presented with an acute episode of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath. After a complete work-up, it was concluded that her presenting symptoms were likely due to her high levels of CLBP and high dose opioids. At the time of intervention, her opioid dosage was between 50-90 MME (Morphine milligram equivalent) (Norco 8 × 7.5 mg/day + Fentanyl 12 mcg patch). She was subsequently seen by the physician for seven outpatient internal medicine appointments over nine months and received Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) in conjunction with monitored tapering of opioids and other medication associated with her CLBP. This case report demonstrates how a physician might deliver PNE as a viable nonpharmacological treatment option for the tapering of long-term opioids for chronic pain.