Pain as a Barrier to Human Performance: A Focus on Function for Self-Reporting Pain With the Defense Veterans Pain Rating Scale

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Buckenmaier CC, Galloway KT, Polomano RC, Deuster PA 16(2). 82 - 87 (Journal Article)

The intense physical demands and dangerous operational environments common to Special Operations Forces (SOF) result in a variety of painful conditions, including musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and acute and chronic pain from combat injuries. Pain is a wellaccepted barrier to human performance. The Pain Management Task Force and the development of the Defense Veterans Pain Rating Scale (DVPRS) are discussed to provide a framework for changing the culture of pain management away from intensity of pain to interference with function and performance. The emergence of complementary and integrative pain management (CIM) practices is briefly reviewed as viable alternatives to the traditional reliance on opioids and other prescription medications. The SOF community can be the change agent for the DVPRS and CIM approaches to pain management, which will in the end serve to accelerate recovery and return SOF operators to duty faster and with an enhanced ability to perform with less pain.

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