After decades working as a family physician I now focus on chronic non-medication pain treatment, dealing particularly with psycho-social issues that invariably accompany and complicate all chronic disease. This can greatly reduce and may remove the suffering element of chronic pain, which in turn improves functionality and quality of Life.
It is essential that chronic diseases, in particular, are treated in a bio-psychosocial context, which means that social and psychological issues are treated at the same time as medical problems, in order to ensure favourable treatment outcomes.
However, there are two major problems that immediately become apparent, the first being that the modern health care delivery model with its shortened consultation times (10-15 minutes on average for family medicine) makes it extremely difficult to achieve these goals, as dealing with psycho-social issues and educating patients is both labour intensive and time consuming.
The second problem is that family physicians, in particular, report discomfort at treating chronic pain because they feel that they have not received sufficient education and training.
The above situation at least partly explains why we often see excellent outcomes in acute (recent on-set) diseases, trauma, and surgical conditions, while those of chronic pain and chronic disease lag significantly and can be somewhat disappointing.
” True recovery is built on a foundation of meaning, acceptance and expectation, in that sequence.”
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Language of Pain
Fast forward your recovery to stop hurting
I wrote “The Language of Pain- Fast Forward Your Recovery to Stop Hurting,” specifically for those with chronic pain and their caregivers. The idea was to provide chronic patients with the necessary knowledge to enable them to make choices so that they could have a way more multimodal (using many methods) approach to chronic pain, and one that is truly bio-psychosocial. The term bio-psychosocial is often used in chronic diseases, as for treatment to be successful, it is inadequate to only address the biomedical problems alone; one also has to deal with the multiple psychological and social issues.