Or, more accurately, "Cleveland: Thought Leaders on Pain Management Research".
They're neighbors of ours here in the Detroit area, but we keep seeing Cleveland pop up in our research. At first, seeing your city's name populate searches on the subject of pain and opioid drug abuse might be troubling. Not in this case.
Why does Cleveland keep showing up? Because there are some of the best and brightest minds in the world working to improve how humans manage pain right there on the shores of Lake Erie.
Cleveland it seems has a history of wanting to help people with pain. Unfortunately, their approaches have not always been good. Cleveland's Louis Stokes VA was a top offender in the VA's overprescription of opioid drugs. Now, it leads the nation among all healthcare facilities in prescription reduction. Even with a patient population that includes 50% with pain problems, Louis Stokes prescription rates for opiates are down to 3%.
Leading the charge was Dr. Ali Mchaourab, Chief, Pain Medicine Service, Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH. Dr. Mchaourab starting collecting data around 2006, sounded the alarm in 2010, and by 2014 the entire VA led a viciously honest self-assessment based on the doctor's data. The actions driven from the outputs of the assessment drove reductions in prescription volumes and durations in 99% of America's VA facilities.
Down the road, The Cleveland Clinic is also out in front with innovative non-drug approaches for managing pain. Reducing when, where, and how long opiate drugs are used is unarguably necessary. But, that leads to the question, "If not the magic pill, then what?"
Frequency-Specific Microcurrent (FSM) is one such non-drug alternative.
"In FSM, depending on the tissue involved, specific frequencies are selected to encourage natural healing of the body and to reduce pain."
Microcurrent has also been shown to increase ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production to speed healing and reduce inflammation at injury sites. Ironically, higher current level formulations like peripheral nerve stimulation has also been shown to impede the proliferation of pathogens that lead to infection.
So, Cleveland's Dr. Mchaourab basically changed the way the entire healthcare delivery system prescribes a class of drugs, and the Cleveland Clinic is using bioelectronics to reduce pain and inflammation while helping the healing process and preventing infection - with no drugs.