Pain Management

I can't seem to get any help for a nagging case of low back pain. Most of the people I have seen didn't seem to even care that I'm in pain. No one even asks me how I feel anymore. I don't know what to do. Should I say something?

Patient-centered pain management is an important part of every health care professional's working day. Dentists, doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and pharmacists address patient concerns about pain each and every day.




Pain and Inflammation May Be Linked

In the last 10 years, experts have identified one factor that might predict who will end up with chronic pain. It's a concept called catastrophizing. A catastrophizer is a person who feels helpless and tends to think the worst when in pain. They seem unable to cope, and they focus on their symptoms in detail. This may be the first study to show a link between pain and inflammation, which may explain what's happening at a physiologic level to explain the catastrophizing-pain response.




Preparing Healthcare Professionals for Patient Pain Management

Patient-centered pain management is an important part of every health care professional's working day. Dentists, doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and pharmacists address patient concerns about pain each and every day. In this article, faculty from the University of Toronto (Canada) present the Interfaculty Pain Curriculum (IPC) that they developed to help students in these six disciplines prepare for this part of their clinical practice.




Why do we have pain?

Although doctors don't quite understand the mechanism of pain, they do know that it is a protective thing. By feeling pain, you will protect yourself from what is causing it, whether it be a hot stove, stepping on glass, or getting blisters on your feet.




I read of a girl that doesn't feel pain and it seemed like they (her parents) weren't happy about it. Wouldn't life be so much easier if we didn't feel pain?

While it may seem ideal to not feel any pain, we need pain in order to survive. Pain is a warning signal and a danger signal. As you approach fire, you may end up burning your hand if you get too close. If you don't feel the burn, it's possible that it is a severe burn and then this burn can become infected, causing much worse problems and perhaps even death.




My mother started taking an antidepressant for her pain. Regular pain killers didn't work. This one's not working either. What if the doctor gave both?

Many people with chronic pain do well with certain types of antidepressant medications. That being said, not all chronic pain can be treated in this way. There are also a few different types of antidepressants that work so it may be helpful if your mother asked if there could be another one to try.




Why is it that studies often seem to contradict each other?

When reading the newspaper, browsing the Internet, or watching the news, we are often told about a new study that found X,Y and Z. A while later, it seems that another story is saying the opposite and that the second group of researchers really found A, B, and C instead.




My mother has a lot of pain from her arthritis and her lower back problems. The problem for me is, I think she tends to play it up for sympathy, to keep me from going home, for example. How can I tell if she's really in pain or if she's just trying to get attention?

Pain is very subjective. There has been very likely a time when you've hurt yourself and how severe or mild it felt to you was quite different from someone who was watching or helping you. How people feel pain and how others perceive it are often two very different things.




I'm an adult woman with children. I have an illness that causes pain much of the time. Some days are good, others are not so good. My husband just doesn't understand when I'm hurting and he says that I just need to go on as if I don't have it. I've met others who also don't seem to understand. Yet, there are people who do. Why do some people believe me and not others?

How people perceive pain has been something that researchers have been wondering about for many, many years. It's not surprising that it's such a puzzle because even the people with pain themselves don't always agree on its severity. For example, you can have someone who breaks a bone in their foot and continues to walk. The pain is there but not severe enough to make the person stop. You can have another person with the same break who is in tremendous pain.




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