Chronic Pain Management

Chronic pain is something that is sometimes really hard to comprehend by others that are not experiencing it.  It is important that it be managed appropriately and effectively by health care providers.

According to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine, “pain is widespread, but underdiagnosed and undertreated.”

According to their research, most of people’s  chronic pain is preventable and could be better managed.  Philip Pizzo, chair of the committee states on behalf of people that are in pain, “Their suffering is not something they should be blamed for or something they’ve made up”.  “In the absence of knowledge, there’s an attribution of blame.  Education needs to play a role in that.”

It also reports that pain management training is lacking and that more programs for specialist in advanced pain care are needed. Treatment does not always have to involve drugs, surgery, behavioral interventions, psychological counseling, rehab and physical therapy are also other alternatives.

Here are some pain facts from the report:

– $560 to 635 billion is spent spent each year in the United States in medical treatment and lost productivity
– 116 million  of American adults experience pain
– Out of 133 medical schools in America, only five required courses on pain
– Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and opioids are the most common methods  for relieving pain
– 60 percent of women experiencing their first childbirth, rate pain as severe
– 26 percent of Americans reported low back pain in the last 3 months
– 2.1 million annual visits to emergency departments for acute headaches


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