Chronic pain management in the active-duty military

David Jamison, Steven P. Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

As in the general population, chronic pain is a prevalent and burdensome affliction in active-duty military personnel.1,2 Painful conditions in military members can be categorized broadly in terms of whether they arise directly from combat injuries (gunshot, fragmentation wound, blast impact) or whether they result from non-combat injuries (sprains, herniated discs, motor vehicle accidents). Both combat-related and non-combat-related causes of pain can further be classified as either acute or chronic. Here we discuss the state of pain management as it relates to the military population in both deployed and non-deployed settings. The term non-battle injury (NBI) is commonly used to refer to those conditions not directly associated with the combat actions of war. In the history of warfare, NBI have far outstripped battle-related injuries in terms not only of morbidity, but also mortality. It was not until improvements in health care and field medicine were applied in World War I that battle-related deaths finally outnumbered those attributed to disease and pestilence. However, NBI have been the leading cause of morbidity and hospital admission in every major conflict since the Korean War.3,4 Pain remains a leading cause of presentation to military medical facilities, both in and out of theater. The absence of pain services is associated with a low return-to-duty rate among the deployed population.2 The most common pain complaints involve the low-back and neck, and studies have suggested that earlier treatment is associated with more significant improvement and a higher return to duty rate.5 It is recognized that military medicine is often at the forefront of medical innovation, and that many fields of medicine have reaped benefit from the conduct of war.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSensing Technologies for Global Health, Military Medicine, Disaster Response, and Environmental Monitoring II; and Biometric Technology for Human Identification IX
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 23 2012
EventSensing Technologies for Global Health, Military Medicine, Disaster Response, and Environmental Monitoring II; and Biometric Technology for Human Identification IX - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: Apr 23 2012Apr 25 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume8371
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Other

OtherSensing Technologies for Global Health, Military Medicine, Disaster Response, and Environmental Monitoring II; and Biometric Technology for Human Identification IX
CountryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD
Period4/23/124/25/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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