Newswise — PAINWeek 2008 officially begins on Wednesday, September 3, when hundreds of healthcare professionals and practitioners will gather at the Red Rock Casino, Resort, and Spa in Las Vegas for this unique annual 5-day conference. The meeting is packed with over 100 sessions including continuing medical education, satellite symposia, and special-interest forums, and features some of the nation’s key opinion leaders in pain. PAINWeek ( is unique in that it provides a forum with a focus on the clinician in medical practice—as opposed to trials and theories— for a broad variety of disciplines to learn about and discuss technologies, techniques, methods, and medications for the treatment of pain. Over a dozen professional pain organizations are participating; over 30 exhibitors will be present, and more than 40 scientific abstract posters on display.

PAINWeek’s participants represent a wide variety of professional disciplines: primary care, rheumatology, and neurology, psychiatry and psychology, dentistry and discography, pharmacology and physical therapy, hypnosis and humor, chiropractic and acupuncture, migraine and myofascial pain, birthing and back pain, and more. The cooperation and exchange of ideas will ultimately benefit one of this country’s most underdiagnosed and undertreated patient populations: people in pain. Some of the featured sessions at PAINWeek include:

• Managing Breakthrough Pain: An Academic Debate promises to be a lively session featuring John Markman, MD (University of Rochester, NY), Steven D. Passik, PhD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering), and Russell K. Portenoy, MD (Beth Israel, NY). A subject sure to stimulate debate among these key opinion leaders.

• Using Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain: a Case-Based Approach to Optimize Therapeutic Outcomes While Managing Potential Risks is a unique, multimedia educational forum illustrating the management of potential risks in using opioid therapy for chronic pain. Presented by Perry G. Fine, MD (VP National Hospice/Palliative Care, VA), Howard A. Heit, MD (Georgetown), Bill H. McCarberg, MD (Kaiser Permanente), Steven D. Passik, PhD, FACP, and Howard S. Smith, MD, FACP (Albany Medical College, NY).

• Fibromyalgia: What It Is, Isn’t, and What We Can Do About It is presented by Ronald J. Rapoport, MD (Charlton Memorial, MA). A noted expert, Rapoport reports real changes seen with fibromyalgia and emphasizes the need to recognize this disease. In other sessions, Rapoport offers hands-on tender-point and injection technique demonstrations and explains the American College of Rheumatology’s criteria.

• The Many Faces of Fibromyalgia is a comprehensive symposium that provides an in-depth look at this disease that often occurs simultaneously with other syndromes (restless legs, depression, irritable bowel, headaches, etc), making it elusive. The program is designed to help diagnose and manage fibromyalgia.

• Office-Based Opioid Therapy (OBOT) is an update for physicians currently prescribing under the DATA 2000 DEA waiver, and emphasizes the data from CSAT on the first 3 years of buprenorphine use for opioid withdrawal, dependence, and maintenance; with a new section on international data.

• Information to Improve Your Regulatory Compliance is presented by Jennifer Bolen, JD, former US Attorney and expert legal counsel; she covers relevant federal and state legal/regulatory material on the use of controlled medications.

• Brainstorm is all about migraine. It’s a collaborative, dynamic, interactive educational program designed by primary care physicians and neurologists for primary care physicians. It resulted from an extensive needs assessment regarding the challenges faced in treating migraine patients, and explores the many dimensions of migraine through an interactive, patient-oriented, case-based program with key educational messages.

• Our Duty to Relieve Pain is a plenary session offered by James Giordano, PhD (Georgetown University), who spells out the legal and ethical duty of physicians to relieve pain, an imperative now incorporated into the position statements of many disciplines.

• Pain Educators Forum is sponsored by The American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE) and offers a wide variety of informational sessions. B. Eliot Cole, MD, MPA, Executive Director of ASPE, presents Learning Theories and Understanding Bloom’s Taxonomy; Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, will offer 4 sessions on what Pain Educators are and why the role is essential to practices; David Glick, DC, will speak about Back Pain for Patients and Practitioners; and Kathleeen Broglio, NP, will present Teaching Patient Groups Self-Care.

PAINWeek 2008 also offers unique subjects and courses not available at many other conferences on pain, including the highly informational sessions titled Opioid Conversion and Using Methadone. There are two ethics sessions offering CE/CME credit and presented by James Giordano, PhD, and Michael E. Schatman, PhD. The conference also has sessions on Poststroke Pain, Interstitial Cystitis, and Cranial Neuropathy, subjects on which there is very little information anywhere for the general practitioner. There’s a broad selection of practice disciplines (hypnosis, chiropractic, biofeedback) and types of pain (cancer, postherpetic, lupus); and unique treatments including humor in healing and How to Hypnotize Conversationally.

Virtually every therapeutic area in healthcare has some association with pain. Even the CDC recognizes the need to treat pain as its own entity. In a CDC National Center for Health Statistics report, Health United States (2006), lead author Amy Bernstein stated, “We chose to focus on pain in this report because it is rarely discussed as a condition in and of itself – it is mostly viewed as a byproduct of another condition. . . . [and] also because the associated costs of pain are posing a great burden on the healthcare system…”. It is the purpose and goal of PAINWeek 2008 to address this critical need this year at this conference, and in years to come through media, education, and symposia.