"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire" -- Charles Bukowski

Monday, September 5, 2011

Giving Chronic Pain a Medical Platform of Its Own

Tara Parker-Pope from the NY Times touches on chronic pain and the struggle to properly diagnose, treat, and understand this phenomenon. Why is it that our physicians are not educated to properly work with those suffering from chronic pain, and how can we as patients help?

“Most doctors view pain as a symptom of an underlying problem — treat the disease or the injury, and the pain goes away. But for large numbers of patients, the pain never goes away […] Chronic pain often goes untreated because most doctors haven’t been trained to understand it. And it is isolating: Family members and friends may lose patience with the constant complaints of pain sufferers. Doctors tend to throw up their hands, referring patients for psychotherapy or dismissing them as drug seekers trying to get opioids…”

“If the doctor can’t figure out what the underlying problem is, then the pain is not treated, it’s dismissed and the patient falls down the rabbit hole.”

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