Too Many People Ignore Chronic Pain
Pain Medication, Physical Therapy, Better Coping Skills All Help Ease Pain
Treatment does offer relief, says Cowan. "We have to
learn to live with the pain, manage it, apply better coping skills, pace
ourselves, know our abilities. The big message is, realize that there are
things you may not be able to do. But don't dwell on that, focus on what you
Her survey showed the positive effects of getting
- 81% of people seeing a doctor for pain report being very satisfied.
86% of people taking prescription pain medication are also
using alternatives, like physical therapy, massage, and meditation.
"Pain is not simple," says Cowan. "Finding the
right doctor can be difficult. Doctors and nurses are not really trained in
pain management. They're trained in diagnosis and treatment of disease, but not
in managing pain. And because it's complex, treating pain takes a team
approach, with the patient playing an active role."
Start with your primary care doctor, she advises. "You have
to start at the beginning, rule out certain causes. You may have to see a few
specialists. Even then, there aren't always clear answers."
The bottom line: If you have pain, taking an active role will
help bring relief, Cowan says. "When you do that, you can start