Sunday, November 8, 2009

This sounds interesting for those of you like me


“Epidemic” of under-treatment affects more than 70 million Americans suffering from persistent back pain, headaches, joint pain; disproportionately affects minorities and low income

WASHINGTON, DC (November 4, 2009)-- Warning that patients shouldn’t assume their doctor has enough knowledge to treat their pain, a national panel of experts today called on medical schools to train doctors and nurses on the basics of pain care, reform the nation’s reimbursement system, and address pain as a public health crisis. The group insists that without health reforms and better training to diagnose and treat pain properly, people with untreated pain may face a lifetime of pain as a chronic illness – which could lead to job loss, depression and in some cases, even suicide.

“Doctors, who don’t lack for compassion or medical skills, often offer only limited treatments to patients disabled by chronic pain,” said Lonnie Zeltzer, M.D., co-chair of the panel, and the director of the Pediatric Pain Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. “With little or no specific training in pain management, and working in systems that make it much easier to treat common conditions like high blood pressure than a complex problem like pain, doctors may intend to help but leave most patients under-assessed and under-treated. Minorities, children and women often faced the highest risk of under-treatment.”

The panel, convened by the New York City-based Mayday Fund, included anesthesiologists, neurologists, primary care doctors, pediatricians, emergency physicians, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists and patient advocates (the full Committee is included below). After a conference in Washington D.C. and deliberations that lasted over several months, the panel’s report, A Call to Revolutionize Chronic Pain Care in America: An Opportunity in Health Care Reform, says pain is a huge public health problem. They developed several recommendations for government agencies, Congress and the medical community to address.

The report and recommendations have been endorsed by more than 30 organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, The Joint Commission, American Nurses Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, and the American Academy of Neurology (the list of current signatories is below).

“As we get closer to the possibility of health care reform, the frontlines of medicine - adult and pediatric primary care - could face enormous strains from millions of new patients seeking care for pain,” says Russell K. Portenoy, M.D., panel co-chair and the chairman of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. “Primary care is the first stop for people in pain, and both the training received by clinicians and the system of care should facilitate best practices in pain care, but this is not the way it is.”

The Mayday Fund Special Committee on Pain and the Practice of Medicine writes that chronic pain should be reframed as a chronic illness since “the burden of chronic pain is greater than that of diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.” People in chronic pain have longer hospital stays, and many duplicative tests and unproven treatments—all of which drive up the nation’s health care spending, the panel said.

Chronic pain costs the nation more than $100 billion a year in lost productivity and direct medical costs, the report says. “This is a wasteful system,” Portenoy adds. “Major reforms in the health care system are needed if we want to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care for chronic illnesses, and pain is as much a chronic illness as diabetes and heart disease.” Although the impact of pain on patients and on society is among the most serious of public health concerns, chronic pain has been largely left out of the current national debate on health reform, the panel writes.

According to the report, about “one-third of people in pain report that their pain is disabling and has a high impact on their ability to function in daily life. Research suggests that the high cost of under-treated pain includes lost productivity. Pain is the second-leading cause of medically-related work absenteeism, resulting in more than 50 million lost workdays.”

The authors pay particular attention to the numerous studies that suggest low-income populations, minorities, women and children are more likely to be under-treated for pain or not receive pain care at all. If doctors do not recognize chronic pain as a serious illness, or as serious as others, or they perceive that pain complaints cannot, or should not, be treated, persistent pain results. In some cases, such as pain in young children and adults with dementia, patients may not report their pain, and under-assessment drives under-treatment.

“The tragedy of this system is that it leaves many people suffering from unrelenting pain,” says Zeltzer. “Pain that goes untreated may permanently change the body’s nervous system and may lead to pain that can be managed but never goes away.”

Federal policymakers have recognized the impact pain has on individuals and the health care system and have included provisions of the National Pain Care Policy Act 2009 (NPCPA) in health reform proposals. That bill calls for an Institute of Medicine Conference on Pain; increased funding for the National Institutes of Health to collaborate across institutes to find more effective treatments for pain and to better understand the biology of pain; a grant program to improve health professionals’ understanding of and ability to assess and treat pain; and better public education so that consumers understand the danger of letting pain go untreated.

“Remarkably, less than one percent of the NIH budget was devoted to pain in 2008,” Zeltzer said. “This amount is not commensurate with a public health problem of this magnitude.”

In addition to medical school reforms and expanded funding for pain management training programs, the panel cited specific measures that would ease this public health crisis. Among them:

•Health care providers, insurers and government agencies should eliminate disparities in access to pain care related to race, gender, age and socioeconomic status. All Americans in pain, including low-income Americans, should be offered timely and effective treatment for their pain.

•Government, health care payors and providers should develop coordinated health information technology (IT) systems to track pain disorders and treatments. Computerized IT systems can boost physicians’ knowledge about the best treatment for pain by providing them with best practice information quickly.

•The Department of Health and Human Services should reform payment to eliminate the current incentives that drive pain care toward procedures or unproven treatments. Primary care doctors should be reimbursed for the time it takes to provide comprehensive pain care to patients who are disabled by chronic pain—a system that can cost a little more up front, but often reduces the cost of treating pain over the long haul.

•The Surgeon General should mount a public education campaign to inform the public about the risks associated with under-treated pain. Consumers should understand that if they wait too long to treat acute pain they run the risk of developing a chronic syndrome, one that’s costly to treat and potentially disabling.

“Reducing the burden of uncontrolled chronic pain is a societal necessity, a medical challenge and an economic requirement,” the panel says.

The Mayday Fund is a New York City-based private philanthropy dedicated to alleviating the incidence, degree and consequences of human physical pain. The Mayday Fund does not lobby or retain individuals or organizations to lobby. The panel participants are listed below. To obtain a copy of the report please visit This article is the pain of the mayday Fund.


Rick said...

Hi Jerry,
I am a physical therapist and was wondering if you would please email me at
Thank you,

dr john said...

I had 'failed back surgery 'pain for many years.
everything seemed to make it worse until I met a 84 year old chiropractor called Hugh Corley in Oxford who was able to get me out of pain. I then studied at his Oxford chiropractic school and qualified in 2000.
I have been able to help many (but not all) with chronic pain using gentle methods (no cracking)
I work near preston, manchester and liverpool in UK
Dr John Parsons DC
01772 431133

kate said...

Hi Jerry--I'm the author of a new literary novel, REMEDIES, which was just published by Putnam. It's about a physician who believes he's discovered a cure for chronic pain, and it describes much of what many patients face in the struggle to get adequate treatment. The book has gotten wonderful reviews so far. I was hoping you might look up Remedies. It's listed on Amazon. Best wishes to you. Sincerely, Kate Ledger

Mike Agassi said...

Chronic pain is very severe and this affects people's life, long known to people who suffered from a strange disease, were strong back pains, which were intense and not let them work, as was what they said were the doctor and he prescribed vicodin, hydrocodone, norco for pain, but knew it was a very powerful medicine, and moreover, anxiolytics, and worry that they were doing things that previously did not like eating too much, smoking, etc, and read in findrxonline that this drug is well and that we must be very careful with their use, and everything must be under medical prescription.

pain care improvement said...

Kudos for your efforts to improve care. The federal government goes along with the careless neglect of pain care that has existed in the health care industry for over forty years. The National Pain Care Policy Act in Congress does not require any physician to be educated in pain care and most have no formal education in pain care- despite the fact that pain is the number one reason people seek medical care. Medical groups in states like NY are opposed to obtaining education in pain care and President Obama's staff see pain care as unimportant.
It is up to AMERICANS to demand improvements in pain care because both government and the health care industry have been slouching toward Bethlehem with regard to caring about people with pain.

Hulk Hoogan said...

The consequences that cause the disease can lead to death, and so this disease is painful and people suffering from it suffers greatly by the constant pain caused by taking medications that are opioid narcotics such as lortab , Vicodin, hydrocodone , which are very effective in suppressing the pain that causes the disease, we hope that people care and know findrxonline adequately informed as well as notes on your site.

Health Pain said...

Anxiety disorders are a unique group of illnesses that fill people’s lives with persistent, excessive, and unreasonable anxiety, worry, and fear. They include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and specific phobias. Although anxiety disorders are serious medical conditions, they are treatable.
An anxiety disorder and a co-occurring chronic pain disease can make a person’s health more difficult to treat. But a variety of treatments and lifestyle changes can offer relief. Possible health complications are noted below:
•Increased disability or reduced functioning
•Poorer quality of life
•Poorer response to treatment
•Poorer treatment adherence
•Increased perception of disease severity
Chronic pain sufferers who also have an anxiety disorder may have lower pain tolerance or a lower pain threshold, this indicated findrxonline in artcile. People with an anxiety disorder may be more sensitive to medication side effects or more fearful of harmful side effects of medication than chronic pain suffers who aren’t anxious, and they may also be more fearful of pain than someone who experiences pain without anxiety.

Adamina said...

Your Report about the Chronic Pain is awful and absolutely right. EvenThough Chronic Pain Dont have any Complete Salvation, We can Try the Hypnotherapy system. Once i was suffering from a severe limb pain, I could'n Control the Pain. My life style was completely changed with the Pain. Then I came to know about Thoughts Become Reality. They gave me a Hypnotherapy treatment. Its not a pain relief treatment. Its for the mental relief from that Chronic Pain. Thanks to them. I feel better now. said...

You have a great site> I have read several postings. Thanks for bringing this information, which is the best available, to the forefront. A few years ago I was doing a brochure and I wanted to find a definition of 'Chronic Pain". Sadly both Webster and the Medical Dictionary had no definition. What a slap in the face. So our disease really is invisible.
Keep up the good work. I invite you to visit my site.
Have the best day possible.

Mary said...


This is the assistant editor for which is a medical publication offering hospital news,

information and reviews. We also cover a wide variety of medical issues, one of which being Pain Management.

You will notice one of the many articles on this topic on our homepage. If possible I would like

to be included within your blog roll, offering our information as a resource to your readers. Please let me

know if this addition can be made,

Please email me back with your URL in subject line to take a step ahead and to avoid spam.

Thank you
Mary Miller,

Tricia said...

Please don't give up on this blog! I too am a chronic pain patient and I identify strongly with everything you post. It lets me know that I am not the only one suffering this way.

Have a blessed day with as little pain as possible.

Thank you!

Ohio said...

Is important to reform health care as indicate findrxonline appropriate and capable people should take a position as important as this, remember that previous governments failed to put disabled people who can solve the health problems that are in this country.

Vladimir Levin said...

A friend of mine and I recently started a web site for people with illnesses. I found your blog while looking for ways to promote it:

It includes a community as well as health management. I hope you wouldn't mind giving it a try and mentioning it on your blog.

kim said...

Chronic pain may be consequent to various chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia, cancer, back pain, etc. So we reviewed annually by a specialist.

Kildare back pain said...

It is detrimental to health is not properly treated, chronic pain because of the magnitude that expands on the human body that makes people suffer from this pain sacrificed many things, and even when the pain is too attempt suicide, therefore, we must caution those who prescribed medicines can be harmful if they purchase addiction to drugs.

Florence said...

Makes me suffer 4 years of severe back pain at the bottom, and so far not found anything, why turn to drugs like Vicodin, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Soma, and which alone calm the terrible pain I feel, makes a few weeks ago I visited a specialist and indicate that I have to take the medicine, now I'm taking Vicodin because it is the one that best meets my body, and the doctor prescribed that I should take it with moderation, and my question is, can I take another dose daily to feel better since in indicate that the dose can go up, but I feel more calm the pain for 5 hours with me and I must take medicine every 8 hours, pc. reviews that can give me.

Mike said...

give this a go it worked for me.

Mariela said...

That’s what I say in this edition that the use of drugs like Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Lortab are very beneficial for Parkinson's, but they must be properly controlled and that are also used improperly, they should see what is indicated in the articles that have findrxonline on these drugs...

Harry watson said...

I live in Tampa, Florida, but for reasons of work and I am a merchant, I travel constantly for different states of the country, but I remember I read this article today in the city of New Jersey exactly Atlantic City, walked the streets after leaving of a Chinese restaurant, which I recommended at that time, when suddenly a young man in the famous skating skates went through my side, then came back to find the few streets in a park where they meet all these guys, when suddenly a crowd of boys rushing out of the park and one of them flying through the air, realizing I saw that a car had collided accidentally and unfortunately one of the boys, had borne the brunt, but had not been hit very hard, so I thought he had been back, the young had a severe back pain and had to rushed to shore memorial hospital, where doctors said the stroke had caused a severe back injury and had to be some treatments to determine degree of problems that could result, to lower the pain medicine they gave hydrocodone and this somehow soothed the pain the poor boy, after that came his family and now with them in the hospital I felt more relaxed and less committed because it could leave the boy with his family, I retired to where I was staying and grab my laptop to tell me because a child he was given hydrocodone, since it seemed odd and in findrxonline indicates that this surgery is appropriate to alleviate severe back pain and although it is a dangerous medicine if not used properly, doctors use a lot for these cases of severe pain.
This reminds me again that we must always be ready to offer collaboration to the neighbor and we can all spend the same situation.

Lilly said...

I am 26 years, I live in New Jersey and 2 year ago I had an accident that caused me a severe lesion the back, it is the reason that I attend 2 times per week to the Columbus Hospital to make my treatment and my doctor after making a checkup total Vicodin prescribed me to calm the chronic aches that caused me by that accident, I believe that it is an excellent opportunity for pointing out that this hospital offers a tiptop attention and that his doctors have service vocation.

Lilly Abbott

Lilly said...

That good blog that gives us very important medical information, and people really appreciate it because you need to learn about health care.

Lilly Abbott

janell cole said...

HI. I know pain is hard to live with. I am a Naturapath and have created a AM Pain Balm and a PM balm Balm. They work wonders for a lot of people suffering from all types of pain. I would be more than happy to provide anyone suffering from pain some free samples. 1-877-396-6628 or check web.

Joan Sura said...

Undoubtedly, live together with the chronic ache that produces the cancer, the fibromialgia, the Parkinson, the back ache, from it is already complicated, by example already 2 years I live together with the chronic ache but, I have the luck that reading recommended vicodin online and in findrxonline indicated that she is a medicine for the effect ago of the ache, but one he must request with medical recipe and with doctor's supervision.

Ali said...

good to connect with others living in chronic pain ... somehow it can make you feel very alone even though there are so many of us! I started blogging on the topic too this year

Rose said...

Everyone seems to leave long comments there's so much to say on this important and crucial subject. I have three words tension myositis syndrome-why don't people just use this discovery to get well?

Physical Therapy Supplies said...

Thanks for sharing about your perspective as the person living with the person living in…chronic pain. It is so soothing knowing that there are dudes like you out in the world writing about their experiences. I am passing this post along

hernia surgery Los Angeles said...

Of course there is a necessity to treat such people and take care of the problems.The old age which is full of dependence should specially get some help in this regard.,

Michelle said...

My husband tried an alternative therapy for his chronic back pain called Light Axis Healing. It has helped him a lot. Hope this finds you well.

Pain Patients said...

Excellent blog, I like the variety of comments and that I found by chance, will now be in my favorites.

mutuelle swiss life said...

interesting post

drkenbattle said...

Wonderful! you are so right and I needed to hear this.

Hulda Clark said...

I would like to appreciate your work because there is very few writing a fine content like this and very few are sharing their experience of life!
Thanks for your post!!!

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April said...

I'm really sorry to here about your chronic pain. I have had great luck with pain relief cream. My neck pain is treatable with that stuff.

Tommy said...

I find that most doctors, while in training choose not to study the Pain management modules. In the UK this is known as Elective modules where you can decide what you want to study. This is leaving a massive Hole in the capability of UK Doctors.