Achieving adequate pain relief in the community setting has become increasingly challenging. Misuse of analgesics in recent years has led to the implementation of stricter regulations in Australia, from the upscheduling of codeine to the more recent interim decision on changes to paracetamol scheduling.1-3
These measures may have disrupted access to some pain management options for patients, which may be contributing to the undertreatment of pain.1,2
Inadequate management of acute pain may result in the worsening of pain, more frequent hospital readmissions, and added economic burden associated with pain therapy.4 It may also reduce quality of life, impair sleep and physical function, and potentially increase the risk of transition to chronic pain.4,5 Supporting evidence from an inception cohort study alongside a multi-site, pragmatic, cluster randomised clinical trial in the United States showed almost a third of patients with acute low back pain transitioned to chronic pain at 6
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