Pain – A Chronic Problem With No Easy Answer

For the chronic pain patient, whether it be Fibromyalgia, Arthritis or residual effects from an injury, traditional medicine offers little hope of reaching the root cause of the pain. Sometimes the problem can not be solved entirely, but relief is available, with just a little research on your part.

The lack of concern in the American medical community for those in chronic pain is criminal. This is a bold statement, but it is true. For most physicians, the issue of pain control and relief is overshadowed by the issue of addiction. Since many pain medications are addictive when misused, physicians often view the repeated requests for pain relief from the chronic pain sufferer as an indication of addiction. Therefore they reduce the medication level to prevent the patient from becoming dependent on the medication and force them to live in constant pain.

For the chronic pain patient, for instance a fibromyalgia sufferer, this is compounded by the fact that many physicians do not treat their condition as being serious and some even deny its existence. Because of this, these patients are forced to endure months or even years of severe pain before someone finally recognizes that they need long term pain management, not short term pain relief.

Where can this type of pain management be found? Can your family physician provide it? Probably not! It is a rare family physician who knows the intricacies of pain management. Instead, seek out a specialist who is board certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine and trained in the application of Integrated Medicine. These physicians recognize the complexities of pain and how it affects the daily lives of chronic sufferers. They understand that pain affects the patient in many other ways that are separate from the pain itself.

For example, the level of pain can cause a person to only sleep in short bursts. This causes physical and emotional exhaustion which begins to affect every aspect of their lives. The pain can also affect the mood of the sufferer, leading to irritability, withdrawal and finally clinical depression. Because of the level of pain, some sufferers even attempt suicide to escape from the pain. This is tragic, since there are many treatments which can reduce the pain to a manageable level or even eliminate it altogether.

Many conditions which cause chronic pain are precipitated by an injury or some other trauma, which when the pain caused by them is left untreated can lead to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. By the inappropriate use of pain medication when the injury first occurs, these other conditions are allowed to develop. If physicians treated the original trauma, perhaps many cases of these illnesses could be eliminated.

Pain management specialists, for example have developed a technique called neurostimulation. In this technique, an electrical simulator is connected by a small metal lead to the area near the center of the pain, so that it blocks the pain signal from reaching the brain. Some people might ask if blocking the pain from being felt might not lead to further injury, since the pain is a signal that something is wrong in the body. In reality, the pain felt in chronic pain is called maldynia and is different from the pain of an injury. It serves no biological function. It simply exists. And it needs special techniques to eliminate it.

There are many herbal supplements as well that Integrative Medicine physicians are using to enhance the traditional approaches to pain control. There are other techniques, such as biofeedback, aromatherapy, massage, and even meditation. A combination of these methods has been proven time and again to be superior to either technique used alone.

If fibromyalgia or any other chronic pain issue is causing you pain that is preventing you from functioning in a normal manner, locate a pain management clinic in your area or a physician who specializes in pain management and get an evaluation of your condition. Remember, you can get relief, but it’s up to you to take the first step
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