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8 hours $7.98
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20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Chronic Pain: An Integrative Approach to Effective Pain Management

2.5 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the scope of chronic pain, key historical events in pain management, the physiology of pain, types of pain, conventional pharmacological treatments for pain, and integrative approaches to pain management.
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Pain interferes with the enjoyment of life. It makes it difficult to work, socialize with friends and family, sleep, and accomplish activities of daily living. It may reduce productivity and create financial hardships in terms of lost work and high medical bills. Chronic pain can lead to a loss of appetite, depression, and physical weakness as well as a loss of the joy of life.

An audio reading of the content is available for this course

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the scope of pain and chronic pain in the United States.
  • Identify key events in the history of pain management.
  • Define pain and chronic pain.
  • Explain the physiology of pain.
  • Describe the types of pain.
  • Identify various pain behaviors.
  • Compare and contrast the various pharmacological methods for managing pain.
  • Compare and contrast the various integrative therapies useful in pain management.

Pain interferes with virtually every aspect of life—sleep, work, socializing with family and friends, hobbies, and activities of daily living. Pain is associated with injuries and disease. Sometimes pain is the cause of the disease (such as in headaches or neuropathic pain) and sometimes it occurs as a result of a specific condition (such as postoperative pain). Millions of people suffer from pain. It exacts a tremendous cost on our country in terms of health care costs, rehabilitation and lost worker productivity, as well as emotional and financial burdens for patients, families, and society. Consider these sobering statistics (American Academy of Pain Medicine, 2014; Cloud, 2011; Hart, 2010; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [NCCIH], 2017b; Suddath, 2011):

  • Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. Over 100 million people suffer from pain, compared to 24 million people with diabetes, 23 million with heart disease, and 11 million with cancer. Most pain sufferers are women.
  • The annual cost of chronic pain in the United States, including health care expenses, lost income, and lost productivity, is estimated to be between $560 billion and $635 billion.
  • More than half of all hospitalized patients experience pain in the last days of their lives. Yet, while there are therapies available to alleviate pain, among those dying of cancer, for example, 50% to 75% of patients die in moderate to severe pain.
  • An estimated 20% of Americans report that pain or physical discomfort disrupts their sleep a few nights a week or more.
  • The most common types of pain are low-back pain, severe headaches or migraine pain, neck pain, and facial pain.
  • Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years of age.
  • More than 50% of individuals experiencing pain feel they have little or no control over their pain.
  • Almost two thirds of individuals report that pain impacts their overall enjoyment of life and more than 75% report feeling depressed, 70% say they have trouble concentrating, and 74% say their energy level is impacted.
  • Most pain sufferers have been to their family physician for assistance and almost half have been to a specialist (such as an orthopedist).
  • There are an estimated 8,000 pain specialists in the United States—one physician for every 9,500 chronic pain sufferers. This is not nearly enough to address the need in this country.
  • The most common reason cited for seeking complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative therapies was pain.
    • More than 8% of Americans have received a massage in the past year, usually for back or neck pain.
    • Approximately 11% of Americans have used meditation or deep-breathing exercises for physical and emotional pain.
    • Approximately 1.4% of Americans have experienced acupuncture.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

July 11, 2020

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.