People who are suffering from chronic pain have to face and withstand not only the physical pain but also other torments that come with the disease. They have to put up with expenses for medication and treatment, physical limits, work issues, relationship issues and people who don’t understand what they’re going through. Some of them even develop excessive anxiety and depression. And it gets even worse for people who have severe chronic pain diseases such as fibromyalgia. People suffering from chronic pain have to put up with all these other things between bouts of pain. With all these costs, any person who is suffering from chronic pain should insist on getting the worth of all his pains.
Chronic pain is a disease but people who have never encountered it would surely think otherwise. Unlike other diseases, pain has no physical manifestation. Most people with chronic pain don’t go around looking like they are in pain. Let’s think of it this way. Let’s say you have to absent yourself from work and the best excuse that you can come up with is the truth – that you are in pain. Your boss will definitely try to make a smart retort and you will end up feeling disappointed, dejected and depressed. Would that have been his reaction if you had said that you were suffering from an ear infection? Chances are, he would have been more sympathetic. The lack of awareness about chronic pain as a disease is frustrating and until it gets more public attention, people who are suffering from chronic pain will always have to suffer more.
Chronic pain management and treatment do not come cheap. Prescription pain killers are expensive and while over-the-counter pain killers are more affordable, they come with many side effects and health risks. Recently, popular over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and NSAID were found out to be health risks when taken in larger doses. This means that people who are suffering from chronic pain would be more susceptible to other diseases which are developed from using too much pain killers. Some of these illnesses are heart disease, liver damage, stomach ulcers, depression and prescription drug addiction.
Pain management clinics are doing their best to prevent patients from having to experience these pain killer side effects and health risks. That is why the adoption of alternative treatments and new pain management techniques are now being encouraged. These techniques include biofeedback, hypnosis, acupuncture, meditation, deep-tissue massage and physical therapy.
More pain management clinics are now using the integrative approach which is a combination of pain medication and alternative techniques. The integrative approach is used to manage or treat not just the physical pain itself. Other incidents of suffering from chronic pain are also addressed especially the psychological and emotional aspects.
Persons with chronic pain deserve all the help they can get. In order to get the best care there is, patients should learn to effectively communicate with their doctors.