Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020

Living With Chronic Pain: Treatment Options and Support for Pain Management

Chronic Pain and It’s Affect on Australians

Many people around the world are living with chronic pain. No exceptions go to Australia, with an estimate of about 3.24 million people living and working through chronic pain daily. Among these 3.24 million people living with chronic pain in Australia, men and women are almost equal when the numbers are broken down by gender with women making up about 1.74 million of the total people living with chronic pain.

Who suffers from chronic pain

More than half of the people experiencing chronic pain in Australia are of working age. It is estimated that this is about a little over 68 percent of the people. considering these people being of working age and experiencing chronic pain, one can’t help but wonder how chronic pain is interrupting their daily life and functioning. Of the total amount of people living with chronic pain in Australia, 56 percent of them have pain that is so severe that it restricts their ability to perform certain activities. There are more people of working age living with chronic pain than people who are over the age of 65. This is seemingly abnormal because it is assumed that as you age that your body will deteriorate and that chronic pain would more than likely be experienced. Now of days, this is not the case, younger people are experiencing chronic pain and this puts a strain on the workforce and government aid. By the year 2050, it is assumed that the number of people living with chronic pain will increase to almost double what it is now.

Prescription

Treatment

Some of the issues faced with chronic pain and the rising numbers is the treatment. People tend to want to see a pain specialist less often than they would want to just be prescribed medication. About less than 15 percent of the people that present with a chronic pain issue further their treatment to consult with a pain management specialist, whereas 70 percent of the people seeking treatment for chronic pain receive some type of Viagra medication and are content with this option. It is estimated that one in every 100 patients presenting with chronic pain will further their care to a multidisciplinary care approach instead of medication driven care. It is known that medication should not be used as a long-standing approach to treat chronic pain but this guidance is not always following in the health care world.

Consequences

The consequences of not following this guidance are that people become dependent on the medication used to treat chronic pain. At some point, a patient becomes addicted to the medication and starts to self-medicate by upping their dosages. At this point, it is questioned whether the patient is experiencing that much pain or if the addiction is driving the desire of the medications. It has been analyzed that people living in more rural areas of Australia tend to have a higher rate of obtaining medications to treat their chronic pain than any other area.
The financial burden on Australia is rather massive in reference to managing the care of chronic pain.

Economic toll

It is estimated that Australia spends a little under 0 billion in chronic pain associated costs a year. This cost includes the cost associated with the health system, productivity loss, quality of life cost and informal care and aid cost. Of these cost health care cost only makes up a little over 16 percent of the total cost. The Australian government paid over 60 percent of the health care cost associated with chronic pain. The cost to treat chronic pain equals out to be about thousand per person. Of this cost, Australian citizens only pay about 22 percent of their medical cost and the government picks up the remaining balance.

Getting through the pain

Among the people who are suffering from chronic pain, they also tend to experience depression, anxiety and/or feelings of suicide which also drive up the cost of care because other illnesses are being treated alongside chronic pain. Consequently, chronic pain shows to have a two to three more times the frequency of suicide occurring than any other contributor to suicide. Even with suicide being so high among people suffering from chronic illness, it is becoming more of an issue now of days that people are losing their lives more often to the abuse of opioid medications prescribed to treat chronic pain than to suicide.

7 thoughts on “Living With Chronic Pain: Treatment Options and Support for Pain Management

  1. I deal with chronic and severe allergies, I can’t walk outside in the fall without breaking into burning hives that cover my entire body. I manage it with medicine and inhalers I’ve dealt with this most my adult life.

  2. I have dealt with multiple sclerosis due to complications that arose as a direct result of injuries I sustained in my youth. As I had grown older, the amount of pain these complications have caused me has become almost unbearable. For a majority of the day, I am laying in bed seeking remedy without any hope. I am also on four different pain medications as a result of my un-endurable pains.

  3. I experience almost nonstop pain through my gastrointestinal tract. It hurts a good deal of the time but especially after I eat. Sometimes after I eat, I experience pain throughout the whole process of digestion, from stomach to colon. I take a small amount of painkillers daily to manage but they are becoming ineffective over time. Also, my doctors are hesitant to prescribe more or different kinds of opioids. I try everything from exercise to yoga to acupuncture to help manage other than meds, but to little effect. I wish my doctors were more proactive dealing with my pain, but they currently don’t seem to care too much.

  4. A year ago, I shattered my ankle. It was operated on with some metal plates and bolts to hold it together. It hurts every morning when I wake up. I have to wear compression socks to deal with the swelling these days. When it rains, my ankle hurts more often. I try to manage the pain with aspirin and physical therapy.

  5. I have struggled with chronic pain ever since I injured my back at work 17 years ago. I have 3 fused vertebrae in my back, but I was going to work 5 days a week up until a few months ago. I didn’t do much but work because I had no energy or desire to do anything else, even with the pain medication I was taking. My family and animals are still important to me and I enjoyed spending time with them. Now, there is no relief or joy in my life. Every pain clinic in the area is closed. My doctor is on his third license suspension for prescribing opiates because he specializes in back and neck injuries. Those kind of injuries do not heal. I can not find another doctor because they are all afraid to take pain patients. The anti-opiate campaigns that resulted in so many new laws and regulations have taken every bit of quality of life I had left away from me.

  6. For many years I have had to deal with cluster headaches. Imagine feeling like you’ve been hit with the claw end of a hammer right between the eyes, and somebody is trying to pull the handle down to pop the top of your skull off. This goes on for days without end. It drives me insane when it hits. Can hardly stand to even function and pull myself out of bed. I would give anything to alleviate it. All my money, even my soul.

  7. I live with chronic lower back pain. I have tried massages, chiropractors, stretches, and non-opioid pain medications. The pain seems to stem from carrying my infant daughter, as that is what it has worsened. It is at times very debilitating and makes it so that I am unable to carry my young daughter at all. It also interferes with my work as I am unable to be comfortable for extended periods of time.

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