Chronic pain is in the news. As well it should be. Chronic pain afflicts more people than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined. Pain specialists consider chronic pain as more than an unpleasnat symptom. It can become a disease in its own right.
The Insititute on Medicine released a landmark study Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Treatment, and Research. It identifies pain as a serious public health problem afflicting 116 million Americans. and provides recommendations to improve the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and management of acute and chronic pain in the United States.
There’s even a TED talk about chronic pain.
The conversation about pain is just beginning. I’m certain the future looks brighter for people living with chronic pain, and their family and friends. We will see systems changes in our health care delivery.
This will take time.
Today there are things that you can do to make your life better, whether you are a person living with pain, a family or friend or even a health care professional.
People living with pain can learn how to set achievable goals and get back to the things that bring them joy.
Family and friends can learn to help in the most helpful way.
There’s hope for a better tomorrow–no matter what.