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28th Annual Meeting Pre-Meeting Sessions
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Space is limited! Register for any of these pre-meeting sessions here.

All sessions take place on October 19, 9am-4:30pm.


Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain: Best Practices in the Current Environment (6 CME/CEUs)
This six-hour program is intended to provide education on the optimal management of chronic pain, particularly using opioids appropriately and managing patients’ risk for harm. Our distinguished faculty, led by pain expert Paul Christo, MD, will discuss the elements of appropriate opioid prescribing for chronic pain and engage the program attendees in interactive discussions of two illustrative case studies. The program will provide the primary care perspective on proper assessment for pain; strategies for assessing a patient’s risk for opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction; initial considerations in selecting an opioid; and alternative treatment options. Safe prescribing and ongoing monitoring and surveillance using available tools such as urine drug testing and prescription databases will be discussed. Dr. Christo will discuss the various opioids, including abuse-deterrent formulations, the use of naloxone, opioid interactions, and opioids in patients with complex issues such as addiction. Lastly, the program will provide the legal and regulatory perspective on opioid prescribing and will discuss how clinicians can best protect themselves and their practices from regulatory action and litigation. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the activity, practitioners will be better able to:

  1. Summarize the incidence of opioid overdose and the high percentage of unintentional overdose.
  2. Describe the risk factors for prescription opioid overdose.
  3. Identify assessment criteria for chronic pain and appropriate strategies for patient monitoring.
  4. Explain the role of abuse-deterrent opioid formulations, naloxone use, and suboxone.
  5. Describe the risks of opioid-drug interactions and identify groups at increased risk of harm from opioid use. 
  6. List three elements that must be included in the patient record of the chronic pain patient.

Certificate in Nutritional Pain Management Workshop (CNPM) (6 CME/CEUs)
This 6-hour workshop is a practical clinical program covering the importance of food as a pain management intervention. This program, chaired by Robert A. Bonakdar, MD, and Nancy Cotter, MD, will include a discussion of where to start the conversation with patients about using diet and supplements to treat pain. It will also include the five components necessary in a diet for those in pain. Evidence and case studies will show participants how to incorporate this vital intervention into their practices.

Other interventions include:

  • Initiating a specialized diet in specific pain conditions
  • Anti-inflammatory diet
  • Elimination Diet: When and How: FODMAPs, specific carbohydrate diet, etc
  • Role of omega-3 in pain management
  • Role of herbal supplements in pain management

The faculty will discuss nutrition and supplements for common conditions, including:

  •  Fibromyalgia
  • Migraine/headache
  • Chronic Low back pain
  • Obesity

Empowering Patients with Integrative Management of Chronic Centrally Sensitized Pain using Autonomic Self-Regulation (6 CME/CEUs)
This 6-hour demonstration, hands-on, and instructional course, will foster understanding of how Autonomic Self-Regulation (ASR) empowers patients to manage centrally sensitized chronic pain. This course will explain how heart rate variability (HRVB) brings about “left foot braking at the sino-atrial node,” and attendees will learn about the empirically measurable benefit, which this integrative clinical intervention has for pain reduction. ASR will be considered from both a research and a clinical perspective.  The autonomic and central nervous system pathways that are shared by centrally sensitized chronic pain and autonomic nervous system (ANS) self-regulation will be presented and elucidated.  Emerging data from our ongoing VA-funded research on ASR and chronic pain in Veterans and other studies including cancer survivors, along with clinical insights and experiences, will be shared.  Many chronic pain conditions are associated with central sensitization, including Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal and dental pain, headaches, and visceral and postsurgical pain. Fibromyalgia will be explored in greater depth as an example of a centrally sensitized pain condition that is responsive to ASR.

Learning Objectives
After completing this educational activity, participants will be better able to:

  1. Define and describe the meaning of integrative medical management, chronic sensitized pain, and Autonomic Self-Regulation (ASR)
  2. Describe the basic science of heart rate variability (HRV) and its relationship to ASR
  3. Summarize the nervous system pathways shared by chronic sensitized pain and ASR
  4. Describe case studies of the application of ASR to chronic sensitized pain Identify HRV parameters that are biomarkers of emotional health
  5. Identify HRV parameters that are biomarkers of emotional and physical health
  6. Discuss how ASR can be used for health assessment and behavioral change
  7. Explain ASR techniques and tools
  8. Discuss how to incorporate ASR into a therapeutic practice model for chronic pain patients

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