While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap — sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain — arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.
Chronic pain must be treated differently than acute pain. Chronic pain does not need to be addressed with prescription medications, opioids to be specific. This, as shown below in a recent study, is causing more damage than good to the patients. Chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, is your body signaling that something is out of balance. There is a cellular dysfunction occurring in your body. Taking medication to cover your symptoms is NOT giving your body what it needs to correct itself and begin functioning properly again. It is doing the exact opposite. It's introducing a new, foreign, substance into your system that your body is going to have to react to. But, unfortunately, it's a system where the patient's well-being is not considered as important as time and money.
These physicians can give you something to "control" your pain; the same thing they prescribed the last 30 patients who came in with chronic pain. It doesn't matter if it's fibromyalgia, arthritis, infections, tennis elbow, etc. they all get prescribed the same kind of medication. This gets patients in and out of the office faster (more time, more money) as well as giving the doctors the benefit of knowing without a doubt that this patient is going to be coming back to their office when the medication is gone, whether the patient is becoming addicted to the medication or the pain is persisting, they'll be back.
It's time for everyone to realize there is another option, functional or alternative medications. For more information on your pain and giving your body what it needs, call Functional Medicine of Houston at 713-667-6656.
Here is some information on Chronic Pain and what happens to the body when that pain is treated with an opioid based medication.
A recent market research report indicates that more than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain. 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE!
A 2006 survey conducted for the American Pain Foundation and sponsored by Endo Pharmaceuticals evaluated the impact that chronic pain had on 303 chronic pain sufferers who sought care from their physician and were currently using an opioid to treat their pain.
Control Over Chronic Pain
More than half of respondents (51%) felt they had little or no control over their pain.
Six out of ten patients (60%) said they experience breakthrough pain one or more times daily, severely impacting their quality of life and overall well-being.
Impact on Quality of Life
Almost two-thirds (59%) reported an impact on their overall enjoyment of life.
More than three quarters of patients (77%) reported feeling depressed.
70% said they have trouble concentrating.
74% said their energy level is impacted by their pain.
86% reported an inability to sleep well.