Chronic Pain: Opioids Offer No Advantages in Treatment

08:17 02 April in Health, Medicine

A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has found that opioids are no better than other medicines for improving pain-related function in patients with chronic back, hip, knee or osteoarthritis pain. The randomized clinical trial looked at 240 patients over 12 months, comparing the effects of opioid vs. non-opioid medications on chronic pain-related function, pain intensity and adverse effects. Both opioid and non-opioid medication therapy followed a treat-to-target strategy aimed at improved pain and function.

The two groups did not differ significantly on pain-related function over 12 months and pain intensity was significantly better in the non-opioid group at the conclusion of the 12-month period. In addition, adverse medication-related symptoms were significantly more common in the opioid group. These findings support the notion that opioid treatment is not more effective at improving pain-related function than non-opioid treatment.

With chronic pain affecting more than 1.5 billion people around the world, the treatment of chronic pain has become an issue of international concern. Opioid painkillers, which have been regarded for millennia as among the most effective drugs for the treatment of pain, have now fallen out of favor as the standard of care in most of the world. Management of chronic pain must be personalized and take into account the underlying medical condition and cause of the pain.

In recognition of the need for effective solutions to the problem of chronic pain, WorldCare Pain Management was developed. WorldCare Pain Management is a medical second opinion (MSO) service available globally, which utilizes an in-depth, multi-disciplinary MSO evaluation of a member’s underlying medical condition by a team of sub-specialists from one of the top-ranked U.S. hospitals of The WorldCare Consortium®. This team of specialists looks at the member’s complete medical history of chronic pain, including any and all diagnostic material, such as radiology scans and pathology slides.

An additional pain management review is then completed by a leading pain specialist, after the multi-disciplinary team of leading experts have opined on the case. After this-team based MSO has been completed, a comprehensive WorldCare Booklet, which contains the MSO report, bios on the specialists involved in the review, background on the hospital(s) involved and much more in-depth information and resources, is then delivered to the member and their treating physician, providing diagnostic accuracy and personal guidance for optimal pain management.

If you are an employer, insurer, broker or TPA interested in offering our services, or if you’d like more information on WorldCare Pain Management, please contact us by emailing





WorldCare Marketing