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By Desiree Azizoddin, PsyD

Maybe a physician treated you 10 years ago and suddenly you’re being ordered to discontinue all the medications that help you. Perhaps you had surgery a year ago and your pain has persisted, yet you’re also being advised to continue with your Tylenol regimen? You think to yourself, “I’m not abusing any opioids” or “The opioids were the only thing that worked.” You think to yourself, “It’s such a low dose… why can’t I get a refill?” I’m not abusing the opioids, it’s the other people abusing them on the streets.

There has been a shift…


By Dr. Ming Kao

© Dr. Ming-Chih Kao, PhD, MD.

Over the years I have created a number of handouts geared towards providers and patients.

In the context of the on-going opioid epidemic, it is not surprising that the most popular of my handouts is on opioid adverse effects and opioid alternatives. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in the Bay Area have been putting this on their walls and passing it out to their patients.

I want to make this widely available here to help combat the opioid epidemic, using the latest modern science of pain medicine.

Download the poster.

Originally published at drmingkao.com.


By Dr. Ming Kao

© Monkey Business / Adobe Stock

Earlier we noted the large number of pharmaceuticals that can be used for chronic pain.

Over the years, I have also been cataloging all pain-relief procedures that we perform in Pain Medicine. This is an exhaustive list that literally covers the head to the toe. We perform Botox injections of the scalp for chronic migraines, toe injections for metatarsalgia, and everything in between.

In order to ensure accuracy, we use fluoroscopy (X-ray) for deeper parts of the body, and live-ultrasound for more shallow structures.

Accuracy is crucial. Even the most common trigger point injection (injection of…


By Dr. Ming Kao

© denisismagilov / Adobe Stock

The opioid crisis has reached epic proportions. More Americans die per year from opioid-related deaths than from traffic accidents.

In 2016, the Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy sent a letter to every clinician in the United States. An immediate reaction from many clinicians was to immediately stop prescribing opioids, and to discharge from their practices those patients on high dose chronic opioids.

This is a lose-lose situation, a situation that I doubt is Dr. Murthy’s intent. It is a lose-lose because the clinicians lose the patients they know so well, and because patients’ otherwise stable chronic…

Stanford Pain Medicine

The Stanford Division of Pain Medicine seeks to predict, prevent and alleviate pain through science, education and compassion.

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