Treating chronic pain by deprescribing opioids

Air Date: October 12, 2022 | Length: 1:01:41 | Download the transcript

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Dr. Andrea Furlan

Episode Description

We all have a pain system that sets off alarm bells when something is wrong. But what happens when those bells won't stop ringing? How do you treat a malfunctioning pain system – also known as chronic pain – without automatically resorting to opioids? These are the questions that Dr. Andrea Furlan has dedicated her career to answering since her early days of medical school in São Paulo, Brazil.

Dr. Andrea Furlan in 1990  

Dr. Furlan's work centers around rewriting the narrative surrounding the treatment of chronic pain. Using what she refers to as the five M's – movement, mind-body therapy, manual therapies, modalities and medication – she explores the notion of deprescribing opioids and alternative treatments. More than that, she brings joy back to her patients' lives. Her commitment to accessibility and teaching, including physician education and a YouTube channel with over 400,000 subscribers, is part of her mission to demystify treating chronic pain, day-by-day.

About Dr. Andrea Furlan

Dr. Andrea Furlan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Staff Physician and Senior Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. She is also a Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Furlan has extensive experience in reviewing the scientific literature for the Cochrane Collaboration and for clinical practice guidelines. She was the team leader for the development of the Canadian Opioid Guideline in 2010, and is now involved with Guideline's National Faculty in the dissemination and implementation of the guideline across Canada. Dr. Furlan is the Chair of Echo Ontario for Pain and Opioid Stewardship, and has a YouTube channel for people with chronic pain with more than 430K subscribers.

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