Encountering Barriers on the Road to Pain Management

<b>Encountering Barriers on the Road to Pain Management</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Pain is the top reason people seek medical care in the U.S. Despite all we now know about pain, many people continue to suffer needlessly. That’s because there can be “road blocks” to effective treatment. These can come from a variety of sources – including healthcare professionals and even patients themselves.

While controlling pain hasn’t always been a medical priority, the healthcare industry has made great strides in recent years to address this – including the establishment of pain as the “the fifth vital sign.” Nevertheless, people seeking treatment may still encounter healthcare professionals who do not take pain seriously, or who do not understand how to provide proper pain management. This can result in inadequate treatment.

“It’s important that people with pain find a healthcare professional who understands their needs and is willing to work together to determine what treatment option works best,” says Penney Cowan, founder of the American Chronic Pain Association. “With the right care and direction, you can live a full life.”

One of the most challenging barriers to adequate pain relief also can come from the people with pain themselves. Some may resist taking pain relievers because of fears of side effects associated with strong prescription medications – it is important to discuss these concerns with a physician. Attitudes toward pain and suffering also may play a role. For instance, some people believe that “good patients” don’t complain, or that pain is inevitable.

Individuals should remember that pain should not be brushed aside or ignored. Here are some steps people with pain can follow to overcome barriers to effective pain management:

* Don’t suffer in silence: report your pain to your healthcare professional.

* Stay involved in your pain management plan: it may take a few adjustments before you are comfortable with your treatment.

* Educate yourself: you will better understand your pain and what can be done to relieve it.

* Learn how to better communicate with your healthcare professional: this may mean keeping a pain diary to illustrate the details of your pain – where it hurts, pain intensity, and what time of day it is worst.

* Don’t settle for inadequate treatment: if your health care provider isn’t successfully treating your pain, ask to be referred to a medical professional who can.

One of the resources available to those living with pain is www.partnersagainstpain.com. The site contains a wide array of information on various pain conditions, resources such as pain assessment and measurement tools, and links to pain education and advocacy groups. Partners Against Pain is a national education program provided by Purdue Pharma L.P.