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Defining and Treating Chronic Pain

Beth Israel Medical Center’s Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care Offers Hope Through a Webcast Premiering on July 20

An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which is generally identified as a medical condition whereby the pain persists beyond the original injury or illness that initiated it, lasting for three to six months. Pain is an enormous problem in public health in this country because it severely damages individuals and families. For this reason, specialists from Beth Israel’s Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care in New York will speak of the many areas of chronic pain through a Webcast premiering on July 20, 2009 5:30 PM detailing what everyone with chronic pain needs to know.

Dr. Russell K. Portenoy, Chairman of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel, kicks off the Webcast by defining what pain management is and details the interdisciplinary focus of the department. He explains that pain management is usually an outpatient practice, where specialists from a variety of disciplines collaborate to bring about improved patient outcomes.

“Although pain management is now recognized as a formal subspecialty of medicine, few patients with persistent pain every see a specialists,” explains Dr. Portenoy. “Beth Israel’s Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care has an interdisciplinary group of specialists who treat all forms of chronic pain.”

Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, Beth Israel’s Vice Chairman of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care, is also included in the Webcast and discusses the important area of neuropathic pain, or nerve pain, and a promising treatment he offers called transcranial stimulation.

Other topics in the Webcast include:

 • Hope for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome

• Latest interventional procedures

• Support services

Throughout the Webcast, physicians from Beth Israel’s Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care demonstrate their understanding of chronic pain syndromes—offering hope for many who mistakenly are led to believe that their pain is mainly psychological. The series of compelling interviews is appropriate for anyone with chronic pain who is not obtaining relief with conventional care, and who may benefit from a better understanding of pain medicine as a medical specialty. Medical professionals, laypersons, friends and family members are also encouraged to view the Webcast to better appreciate the complexities of chronic pain conditions.

The Webcast also features interviews with patients who are under care of physicians at Beth Israel’s Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care. These individuals reveal their struggles to be heard and the successes they have achieved with help from chronic pain specialists. The Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel is a 2009 winner of the Center of Excellence Award from the American Pain Society.

The Webcast is divided into chapters and allows viewers to select the most pertinent topics.

Participants

Featuring:

Russell Portenoy

Russell Portenoy, MD

Chairman of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel

Ricardo Cruciani

Ricardo Cruciani, MD

Vice Chair, Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care, Beth Israel; Director, Research Division