ARTICLE: Managing Chronic Pain

Managing Chronic Pain Requires A Multi-Pronged Approac




Chronic pain comes in many forms. There’s the widespread muscle pain of fibromyalgia, the inflamed joints that come with rheumatoid arthritis, residual pain from injuries, and so many other kinds – and such pain is unfortunately common. Experts estimate that as many as 40% of Americans have some form of chronic pain, with the CDC reporting that 8% suffer from severe, or “high-impact” pain. Still, despite its prevalence, appropriate treatments remain scarce.

Faced with the challenges created by chronic pain, how should doctors and patients respond? Most doctors recommend a multi-modal approach to manage chronic pain. Such an approach is necessitated both by the complexity of these conditions, as well as by legal barriers and the criminalization of chronic pain patients and their doctors. These laws are designed to prevent drug abuse, but for patients newly deprived of their established treatment regimen, they are ultimately a punishment; they also prevent doctors from exercising their medical discretion when working with patients they know well.

How does combining multiple forms of treatment and support patients with chronic pain? The basic goal behind this approach is to help patients address the problem from multiple angles so that they can find relief from both physical pain and the mental distress that constant pain can cause despite restricted access to preferred treatmentsThese 4 approaches form the backbone of today’s multimodal pain relief and offer varying degrees of relief depending on the patient and the underlying health condition.

Modern Medication