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.
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.
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.
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.
I am a doctor from Melbourne. I have been working here since 2006. Feel free to contact me.