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Resource Guide to Chronic Pain Management

by The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA).

12 Credit Hours - $179
Last revised: 01/11/2018

Course content © Copyright 2012 - 2021 by The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA). All rights reserved.


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Introduction to the Course

Learning Objectives

Table of Contents of the Resource Guide


Pain Types and Chronic Pain Classification

Active Interventions - Individual

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Passive Therapies

Invasive Interventions

Medications for Chronic Pain - In General 

Non-Prescription Pain Relievers

Non-Opioid Pain Relievers  

Opioid Pain Relievers and Their Safe Use

Other Medications for Pain

Self-Medication: Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, and Illicit Substances

Interent Pain Management Resources   

Final Comments

References – Links to Chronic Pain Sites & Resources

Authors, Contributors & Reviewers

About The American Chronic Pain Association



This course is based upon the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) Resource Guide to Chronic Pain Management: An Integrated Guide to Medical, Interventional, Behavioral, Pharmacologic and Rehabilitation Therapies (2017).  The Resource Guide is updated yearly and provides valuable information to practitioners and patients alike.  ACPA has graciously granted BehavioralHealthCE the rights to provide this publication to its users as well as continuing education credits.  Whether or not CE credits are desired, the guide is provided free of charge on the ACPA website, as well as here.


This Guide, as well as all of the other resources available on the ACPA web site is a valuable resource to anyone working with patients who have chronic pain.


To take the course for CE credits, simply download and read the Guide (it is a pdf file).  The Guide is available from the ACPA web site. At any time, you can take the test.  The test question help-feature is not available on this course, since it is based on a pdf format.  However, at the end of each test question is the page number on which the information can be found.


To obtain a copy from the ACPA website, click here. 


ACPA has also developed a video of related material.  Although the course is based strictly on the written Guides, the video material also contains great information (to which patients can be referred).  To see the video version, click here.



Learning Objectives



Discuss how medications for chronic pain can help and harm the patient

Discuss OTC pain medicine safety concerns, especially acetaminophen       

Explain the “opioid dilemma”

Discuss TCA, SSRI, and SNRI antidepressant in chronic pain treatment

Describe how substance use can affect chronic pain



Authors, Contributors & Reviewers


Written, reviewed & updated yearly by Senior Author Steven Feinberg, M.D., with Co-authors Michael Leong, M.D., Andrew Bertagnolli, Ph.D., Kathryn Keller, Pharm.D., Chris Pasero, M.S., R.N.-B.C., F.A.A.N., April Fong, Pharm.D., and Rachel Feinberg, DPT, PT.


Dr. Steven Feinberg is a practicing pain medicine physician in Palo Alto, California, and is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is a former Board member and Past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. He is a member of the ACPA Board of Directors. He was an Associate Editor of the Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) Chronic Pain Guidelines 2008 Chapter update and is a Medical Advisor to the Occupational Disability Guidelines (ODG). Dr. Feinberg is the Chief Medical Officer of American Pain Solutions.


Dr. Michael Leong is a Stanford School of Medicine Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and Clinic Chief of the Stanford Pain Management Center. He has worked in academic medicine, private practice with a clinical research center and been a medical director at several pharmaceutical companies developing compounds and devices for pain relief. Dr. Leong is also a member of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) and the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and currently serving as a scientific committee member for the AAPM and other pain medicine organizations.


Andrew Bertagnolli, Ph.D., is the Principal Consultant for Behavioral Health & Pain Management at Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute, in Oakland, California. He is a practicing psychologist at SpineCare Medical Group in Daly City, California. He is a member of the International Association for the Study of Pain, American Pain Society and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, as well as an ACPA Board Member. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Alliant International University and California Institute of Integral Studies both in San Francisco, California.


Kathryn Keller, Pharm.D., CPE, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy at UCSF School of Pharmacy (volunteer faculty), has served as Chairperson and Secretary of the Advisory Council for the Northern California Pain Initiative and as an ACPA Board Member. She is currently a Regional Director, Medical Affairs & Drug Safety for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Chris Pasero, M.S., R.N.-B.C., F.A.A.N., is a pain management educator and clinical consultant.


April Fong, Pharm.D., is an ICU pharmacist at Stanford Hospital & Clinics.


Rachel Feinberg, DPT, PT, is Chief Physical Therapist and Director of the Feinberg Medical Group Functional Restoration Program in Palo Alto, California.


About The American Chronic Pain Association

To promote its important work, we are including some information about the ACPA (as found on its web site).


The American Chronic Pain Association was founded in 1980 by Penney Cowan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  After many years of living with chronic pain, Penney had taken part in the pain management program at the Cleveland Clinic and was eager to maintain the skills she had learned there when she returned to her daily life.  Penney placed a notice in her church bulletin and soon found others whose lives were compromised by ongoing pain.  They began meeting as the first ACPA support group.  This one small group quickly became many.  Unable to be personally involved with every group, Penney developed the first of the ACPA’s manuals and other materials so that others could learn and maintain the skills that had been so important to maintaining her wellness.  Today several hundred ACPA support groups meet across the US and in Canada, Great Britain, and many other countries.  The ACPA’s unique materials are a primary resource for individuals seeking to improve the quality of their lives and for the professionals who help them.


Since 1980, the ACPA has offered peer support and education in pain management skills to people with pain, family and friends, and health care professionals.  The American Chronic Pain Association, a non-profit, tax exempt organization, has offers a support system for people with chronic pain through education in pain management skills and self-help group activities. To learn more about the ACPA and how to become a member, please visit the web site (







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