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Chronic Pain Division Overview


Understanding chronic pain

Pain is the number one reason that patients seek medical care and there are currently more people in the United States suffering from chronic pain than those diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes combined. Researchers in the Chronic Pain Division of the IND are investigating the mechansims that separate and define chronic pain conditions in an attempt to develop more effective therapeutic treatments. From chronic pain arising from disease, such as diabetes or cancer, to pain syndromes with no associated pathology, such as fibromyalgia, migraine and chronic pelvic  pain syndromes, our goal is to understand how the affected tissues and brain communicate, or more importantly, are having the wrong conversation.

Physicians and investigators in the Chronic Pain Division are engaged in collaborative, translational programs aimed at understanding chronic pain disorders. Translational teams with multidisciplinary interests and strengths in basic and clinical science skills work closely to identify areas of urgent need for better research and treatment in these disparate and complicated pain disorders.

Expertise within the Chronic Pain Division focuses on the following conditions:

Fibromyalgia and related musculo-skeletal pain syndromes: Chronic conditions characterized by pain and tenderness of muscles, tendons and joints. Patients affected by the syndrome often suffer from chonic fatigue syndrome, and the majority has sleep disorders. It is most commonly diagnosed in women between 40 and 55, frequently in association with the onset of menopause. Ninety percent of patients with fibromyalgia are women, affecting up to 8 million women in the United States. Related female-prevalent musculo-skeletal pain disorders include conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Migraine headaches are characterized by a feeling of throbbing or pulsing, often on one side of the head. This is often accompanied by nausea and hypersensitivity to light, sounds, and smells. Approximately 75 percent of all migraine sufferers are women, and a change in hormonal status during the reproductive cycle is a frequent trigger. Some 30 million people in the United States suffer from migraines.

Pelvic pain is estimated to affect 17 percent of the adult female population, and more than 90 percent of individuals with pelvic pain are women. This painful condition is sometimes associated with endometriosis in women of child-bearing age. However, one type of pelvic pain (vulvar vestibulitis) has been noted to occur following use of oral contraceptives at an early age, while another (dysesthetic vulvodynia) often occurs at the onset of menopause.

Chronic Pain Division Investigators

Dipka Aggaral, MBBS, Neurology
Kevin Ault
, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Richard Barohn, MD, Neurology
Jennifer Bickel, MD, Neurology - Children's Mercy
Ted Braun, MD, Anesthesiology
Julie Christianson
, PhD, Anatomy and Cell Biology
Mark Connelly, PhD, Developmental and Behavioral Sciences - Children's Mercy
Mazen Dimachkie, MD, Neurology
Jeanne Drisko
, MD, Integrative Medicine
Constantine Farmakidis, MD, Neurology
Tomas Griebling, MD, MPH, Surgery Urology
Cara Hoffart, DO, Rheumatology - Children's Mercy
Talal Khan, MD, Anesthesiology
Rae Kingsley, APRN, Pain Management - Children's Mercy
Patty Kluding, PT, PhD, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
Beth Levant, PhD, Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics
Teresa Long, MD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Wen Lui, PhD, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
Kenneth McCarson, PhD, Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics
Donald Neff, MD, FACS, Urology
Andrea Nicol, MD, Anesthesiology
Warren Nothnick, PhD, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Mamatha Pasnoor, MD, Neurology
Michael Rapoff, PhD, ABPP, Pediatrics
Dawood Sayad, MD, Anesthesiology
Jennifer Schurman, PhD, Developmental and Behavioral Sciences - Children's Mercy
Neena Sharma, PT, PhD, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
Peter Smith, PhD, KIDDRCE
Jeffrey Statland, MD, Neurology
Kim Templeton, MD, Surgery Orthopedics
Dustin Wallace, PhD, Developmental and Behavioral Sciences - Children's Mercy
Yunxia Wang, MD, Neurology
Doug Wright, PhD, Anatomy and Cell Biology

Last modified: Aug 27, 2018
Division Directors

Division Director:
Julie Christianson, PhD

Associate Director:
Andrea Nicol, MD