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(p. 199) Treating Injury and Chronic Pain in Military and Veteran Populations 

(p. 199) Treating Injury and Chronic Pain in Military and Veteran Populations
(p. 199) Treating Injury and Chronic Pain in Military and Veteran Populations

Don McGeary

, Cindy McGeary

, and Tabatha Blount

Page of

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date: 19 October 2020

Military service and combat in the current conflicts have resulted in significant shifts in injury patterns and injury-related comorbidities that have broadly influenced the phenotype of chronic pain in military service members and veterans. Notably, advancements in body armor, faster response of medical evacuation, and the proliferation of blast-related trauma have led to a decrease in thoracic injuries, an increase in extremity trauma, and higher survival rates after a traumatic injury. As a result, chronic pain related to military service is more prevalent and increasingly likely to present with comorbid trauma-related psychiatric conditions (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and depression). Trauma-related military pain is most commonly treated using opioid medications (which introduces the risk of opioid misuse and abuse), so non-medication interventions are needed. Interdisciplinary pain programs offer the best available option, and efforts are underway to develop and proliferate these programs (and to offer these via telemedicine technology).

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