American Medical Association –
March 9, 2018 – Millions of Americans use opioids to relieve pain. But many also struggle with addiction.
This week, a report in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, found that non-opioid painkillers — like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — were as effective as opioids at treating chronic back, hip and knee pain, and with fewer side effects. The findings raise a lot of questions about the right approach to managing pain, particularly chronic pain. So earlier this week, we asked listeners on Facebook and Twitter to share their questions about treating chronic pain. For answers, NPR’s Ari Shapiro turned to Dr. Ajay Wasan, professor and vice chair for pain medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.