2 · septembeR 2012
An independent supplement by mediAplAnet to usA todAy
Te vsble medl dsde
he condition ischronic pain,deined as painthat persists beyond theexpected heal-ing period or anillness or injury or pain rom anysource that goes on or three ormore months. One o the mostmisunderstood health care issuestoday in spite o its prevalenceand cost,pain is invisible,unde-tectable on x-rays,blood tests,oranyother measure.pain.Unlike most medical condi-tions with specic causes,chronicpain does not lend itsel to a“cure.”Rather,chronic pain must bemanaged using an interdisciplin-ary approach that includes medi-cation,physical therapy,counsel-ing,stress management,coping
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chronic Pain, 1st edition,sePtember 2012
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“ulik oical coiiowih cifc ca,chroic ai oo l il o a‘cr.’”
In 2011, the Institute o Medicine released a report on a medical condition that afects
100 million Americans and costs more than $600 billion dollars annually,
more than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Yet ew Americans are aware o thiscondition and medical proessionals receive little training in its treatment.
oF aMeRICanSSUFFeR FRoMSoMe FoRMoF PaIn
Living with pain
Pain may be invisible,but itsimpact on the person is over- whelming. It aects one’s abil-ity to think clearly,complete the basic tasks o dailylie,hold downa job,or have any quality o lie.People with pain are stigmatizedand isolated. Let untreated,pain will not only destroy the person with pain,but too oten the am-ily,as well.During the month o Septem- ber,we work to raise awarenessand understanding o chronicskills,and much more. The goalo pain management is to restorequality o lie and level o unc-tioning while reducing the senseo suering.
Unortunately,most healthcare proessionals have littleknowledge in pain management because it is rarely part o theirtraining. People too oten are letto their own devices to managetheir pain.The good news is that it is pos-sible to live with chronic pain. Itrequires a coordinated approachdrawing on the skills o a multi-disciplinary team on which theperson with pain plays a vital role. With more awareness and educa-tion about chronic pain amongproessionals,people with pain,and the public,we can reduce theeconomic impact o this invisibleepidemic and help to restore thelives o the millions who suerdaily.