I saw this headline and immediately said “No shit”.
Millions of Americans in Pain Without Meds
I have chronic pain. At all times, something is hurting. And what prescribed medication do I currently have to assist with my pain relief? I have a muscle relaxer that knocks me out, makes me more stoned that Vicoden. Yet I can’t get more Vicoden. Why? My GP is one of those who doesn’t like prescribing it. But the orthopedist I was seeing for the broken leg was pushing Percocet on me like it was candy. (and yes, I kept the refills)
I have seen two so-called pain specialists. Both were needle happy and never discussed medication. One dumped me after only a few weeks because my condition did not fit his box. He was incapable of thinking of how to help me. I disturbed his assembly line procedures. The second doc, bless his heart, did try. He not only did injections (lots and lots of them) but also tried mechanical devices such as a water pump heating pad system. But even he would not prescribe any kind of narcotic pain medication. He knew I was not abusing them. He had evidence in front of him that I was, indeed, in the pain I said I was. Yet, he would not touch narcotics.
“Many people suffer needlessly with pain that could be treated, and almost 80 percent of visits to community pharmacies involve pain issues,” said Hahn, lead author of the research articles. “We’re in the middle of a storm here, and have to figure out some way to navigate through it.”
At least 30 percent of patients with moderate chronic pain and more than 50 percent with severe pain fail to achieve adequate relief, Hahn said. In these and earlier works, Hahn suggests the shortcomings are due to inadequate physician training, personal biases, and doctors’ fears of prescription drug abuse.
Argoff, who was not involved in the current studies, pointed out that there are many different avenues to treat pain, including massage, opioids and behavioral therapy, so a short course can’t possibly teach each of them. “Nobody could leave medical school without learning how to read an EKG, so why should they leave without a basic understanding of pain management?”
Not only that, Argoff said that inadequate medical training leads to “irrational fears” that pain meds will be abused, and a bias that all pain patients are drug abusers. “Any medication can be misused or abused,” he told LiveScience. “It doesn’t have to be a pain medication.”