Aches and pains are a lot more serious, and expensive, than what people think. John Chipman of CBC News writes about how chronic pain affects Canadians and uncovers some startling facts. For instance, some life-saving surgeries may lead to chronic pain as a result of permanent nerve damage. What’s even more alarming is that 35 percent of chronic pain sufferers have contemplated suicide out of desperation. There is also the fact that chronic pain affects virtually anyone, regardless of age or gender:
"A lot of people think that chronic pain is something only older people get, but in fact one in five children suffer from recurrent or chronic pains," explains Jennifer Stinson, a nurse clinician scientist in the Research Institute at SickKids hospital in Toronto. "The most common are headaches, abdominal pain, back pain and general muscular-skeletal pains."
Chronic pain doesn’t just ruin people’s lives, it also costs the country billions of healthcare dollars and lost productivity. In fact, the Ontario Ministry of Labour enforces the Occupational Health and Safety Act primarily to prevent musculoskeletal disorders, like chronic pain, from happening in the workplace. They know that simply ignoring the pain felt by workers wouldn’t do much good because this can lead to increased anxiety, irritability, and depression. Patients in need of pain relief and Oshawa physiotherapy services can also benefit from non-invasive treatments such as chiropractic care at a reputable facility like Chiropractic Wellness and Rehabilitation.
Unlike other primary care professionals, physiotherapists and chiropractors consider pain as a disease in itself, rather than just a symptom. This approach is quite insightful because chronic pain doesn’t always have an obvious cause. An old wound or a previous skin infection, for instance, is just as likely to cause chronic pain as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
Depending on the severity of the pain, a pain management and rehabilitation expert can develop a personalized exercise program to improve strength, recommend hot and cold packs to reduce swelling, or even prescribing certain medications. Quality physiotherapy in Oshawa may even involve alternative treatments like massage therapy and acupuncture. These are typically administered only after a thorough physical exam has been conducted.
While there’s still a lot to learn about chronic pain, that doesn’t meant doctors can’t do anything about it. Many of the health experts interviewed by CBC News agree that the first step to getting treatment must come from the very people suffering from long-term aches and pains. In other words, patients themselves should be proactive if they want lasting relief from chronic pain.
(Source: Chronic pain poorly understood, costing Canada billions, CBC News, June 21, 2014)
Written By Dr. Kris Edwards and Dr. Patricia Riley