Chronic pain is a major problem in the U.S., affecting about 100 million Americans, according to the Institute for Medicine. The economic consequences are staggering, a whopping $600 billion. The emotional consequences of dealing with long-term chronic pain are incalculable.
The National Institutes of Health published a study stating that there is mounting evidence that pain is a neurological disease. In brief, the study reiterated what anyone is dealing with chronic pain already knows. Chronic pain has a negative effect on health. It causes poor sleep, fuzzy thinking, irritability, depression and heart problems. The quality of life is severely diminished.
Has Chronic Pain Treatment Become a National Priority?
Four years ago, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that relieving chronic pain should become a national priority. There doesn’t seem to be much evidence that this has happened yet. People aren’t waiting around for the government to deal with their chronic pain; they are seeking their own solutions.
Chronic Pain Sufferers are Seeking Alternative Solutions
The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research did a study confirming that most of their own patients who were dealing with chronic pain were being proactive. They were looking for complementary treatments in addition to the care they were receiving from Kaiser. The problem that Kaiser identified was that the patients’ doctors weren’t aware of the situation. The doctors weren’t asking if their patients were receiving an alternative pain treatment and the patients weren’t telling the doctors.
The Emotional Impact of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain tends to take over someone’s life. Some people try one pain medication after another, trying to find one that offers relief without too many side effects. The inability to sleep comfortably leads some to sleep in recliners or to stay up most of the night until they fall asleep from exhaustion. Personal relationships become strained, to say the least. It becomes very difficult to maintain a positive attitude. When chronic pain forces someone to stop working or give up favorite activities, this often causes severe depression and low self-esteem.
Dr. Darryl D. Robinson specializes in minimally invasive, non-operative Pain Management Norman at Longevity Joint Spine Pain. There are a broad range of procedures offered for Pain Management Norman, including epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency (RF) ablasion and spinal cord stimulator implantation. Dr. Robinson focuses on identifying each patient’s pain generators and planning targeted therapies for effective Pain Management Norman, OK. Call today to schedule an appointment. Click here for more information.
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