Pain Management

Course Outline

You know it at once. It may be the fiery sensation of a burn moments after your finger touches the stove. Or it’s a dull ache above your brow after a day of stress and tension. Or you may recognize it as a sharp pierce in your back after you lift something heavy.

It is pain. In its most benign form, it warns us that something isn’t quite right, that we should take medicine or see a doctor. At its worst, however, pain robs us of our productivity, our well-being, and, for many of us suffering from extended illness, our very lives. Pain is a complex perception that differs enormously among individual patients, even those who appear to have identical injuries or illnesses.

In 1931, the French medical missionary Dr. Albert Schweitzer wrote, “Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death itself.” Today, pain has become the universal disorder, a serious and costly public health issue, and a challenge for family, friends, and health care providers who must give support to the individual suffering from the physical as well as the emotional consequences of pain.

Student Course Evaluation Form

We constantly strive to improve the quality and usefulness of our Internet study courses toward your continuing education. We ask that you fill out this questionnaire as part of the course assignment. This will allow us to monitor the quality of our program and make it responsive to your needs.


Please provide the following contact information:

  • Category: Pain Management
  • Evaluation of the learning experiences provided by the Internet study course completed: (Check one letter: A = Excellent, B = Good, C = Fair, D = Unsatisfactory)
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Learning Objectives

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

  1. Describe the history of pain.
  2. Compare acute and chronic pain.
  3. Define arachnoiditis.
  4. Describe the three types of headaches.
  5. Describe the various types of neuropathic pain.
  6. List the one common cause of sciatica.
  7. Define ischemia, as it relates to vascular disease.
  8. Describe magnetic resonance imaging.
  9. Define analgesic.
  10. Describe the use of benzodiazepines as pain relievers.
  11. Describe biofeedback.
  12. Describe capsaicin.
  13. Describe COX-2 inhibitors.
  14. Describe hypnosis.
  15. Discuss the use of magnets for pain.
  16. Describe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  17. Discuss the acronym R.I.C.E.
  18. Discuss surgical treatment for pain.
  19. Describe how pain signals are received in the brain.
  20. Define nociceptor, peptide, endorphins, and acetylcholine.
  21. Describe the role of prostaglandins for controlling pain.
  22. Describe the six areas of pain research.
  23. Define phantom pain and list the treatments.
  24. Describe the various types of nerve blocks.
  25. Discuss how depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation impact the patient with chronic pain.
  26. Define chronic migraine headaches as stated by the International Headache Society of 2006.
  27. Define the central pain syndrome.
  28. Describe how shingles occur.
  29. State the first sign of shingles and its most common location.
  30. Describe treatment for shingles.
  31. Describe how chickenpox and shingles can be prevented.
  32. List complications of shingles.
  33. State the risks to the newborn when a pregnant woman gets chickenpox 21 to 5 days before giving birth.
  34. State the two types of white blood cells that combat shingles.
  35. List the four regions of the spine.
  36. Discuss who is most likely to develop low back pain.
  37. Describe several conditions that cause low back pain.
  38. Describe methods of diagnosing back pain.
  39. Describe alternative treatments for back pain when conventional approaches fail.
  40. Discuss the 2-year study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health regarding the use of lumbar supports.
  41. Define myofascial pain.
  42. Describe the study by Dr.Rowbotham at UCSF using levophanol for chronic neuropathic pain.
  43. Define meridians.
  44. State the most widely used complimentary medicine practices in the United States.
  45. Compare biofeedback and guided imagery.
  46. Discuss the use of herbal medicines and supplements.
  47. Discuss the strengths of magnets.
  48. Describe how magnets may work.
  49. Define integrative pain therapy.
  50. List the four elements that are the foundation of health and their effect on health and illness.

Table of Contents

  1. Pain: Causes and Treatments
    • Introduction: The Universal Disorder
    • A Brief History of Pain
    • The Two Faces of Pain: Acute and Chronic
    • The A to Z of Pain
    • How is Pain Diagnosed?
    • How Pain is Treated?
    • What is the Role of Age and Gender in Pain?
    • Pain in Aging and Pediatric Populations: Special Needs and Concerns
  2. Study of Pain
    • A Pain Primer: What Do We Know About Pain?
    • What is the Future of Pain Research?
    • Hope for the Future
    • Where can I get more Information?
  3. More on Pain
    • Spine Basics: The Vertebrae, Discs, and Spinal Cord
    • The Nervous Systems
    • Phantom Pain: How Does the Brain Feel?
    • Chili Peppers, Capsaicin, and Pain
    • Marijuana
    • Nerve Blocks
    • Pain Intensity Scales
  4. Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Pain
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Suicide
  5. Update on Managing Chronic Migraine
    • Types of Chronic Daily Headache
  6. Central Pain Syndrome
    • What is Central Pain Syndrome?
    • Is there any Treatment?
    • What is the Prognosis?
    • What Research is being done?
  7. Shingles
    • Introduction
    • What is Shingles?
    • Who is at Risk for Shingles?
    • What are the Symptoms of Shingles?
    • How Should Shingles Be Treated?
    • Is Shingles Contagious?
    • Can Shingles Be Prevented?
    • What is Posttherpetic Neuralgia?
    • What are Other Complications of Shingles?
    • Can Infection with VZV During Pregnancy Harm the Baby?
    • What Research is Being Done?
    • “On Catching Chickenpox . . . but not Catching Shingles?
  8. Low Back Pain
    • What Structures Make up the Back?
    • What Causes Lower Back Pain?
    • Who is Most Likely to Develop Low Back Pain?
    • What Conditions are Associated with Low Back Pain?
    • How is Low Back Pain Diagnosed?
    • How is Back Pain Treated?
    • Can Back Pain Be Prevented?
    • Quick Tips to a Healthier Back
    • What Research is Being Done?
    • Where can I Get More Information?
  9. Myofascial Pain Syndrome
    • Myofascial Pain – The Symptoms and Causes
    • How to Diagnose and Treat Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  10. Opiates for Chronic Pain
    • Amid Ongoing Controversy, Researchers Find Opiates Relieve Chronic Pain From Nervous System Damage
  11. Acupuncture
    • From Ancient Practice to Modern Science
    • What is Acupuncture?
    • Research on Acupuncture
  12. Complementary Therapy
    • Using Complementary Therapy
    • What is the Difference Between Complementary and Alternative Medicine?
    • Choosing Practitioners and Techniques
    • Acupuncture
    • Biofeedback
    • Chiropractic Manipulation
    • Guided Imagery
    • Herbal Medicine and Supplements
    • Homeopathic Medicine
    • Hypnosis
    • Naturopathic Medicine
    • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
    • Relaxation Breathing
    • Yoga
    • Conclusion
  13. Magnets for Pain
    • Introduction
    • Key Points
    • About Magnets
    • History of Magnets for Health Uses
    • What the Science Says, What Studies Have Shown
    • Challenges Facing Researchers
    • How Magnets Might Work
    • Side Effects and Risks
    • NCCAM-Funded Research
  14. Integrative Pain Therapy
    • Foundations of Health
    • Stress Management
    • Proper Nutrition
    • Exercise
    • Psychosocial Support

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