We so often use expressions like ‘Pain in the neck’ to convey our sense of discomfort and unhappiness. In real life pain in any part of our body can be unnerving and irritating. Some pains are due to physical hurt and get well with time and proper cure. A few others are more nagging in nature and just wouldn’t go despite medication. These are the more serious ones and fall in the category of chronic pain.
Reasons for alarm
According to experts any pain that lasts over 12 weeks should send the alarm bell ringing as it gets set to enter the chronic stage. Underlining the serious implication of various types of pains being suffered by human body and its adverse impact on mind, the World Health Organization has termed it a problem of global importance.
No urban, rural divide
Quality and affordable public healthcare system in larger part of rural and semi-urban areas in India is still a rarity. Though incidents of chronic pain are quite common in urban pockets with a large number of these being lifestyle related, increasingly more cases of pains are being reported from rural areas of India.
Problems of knee pains, low back pain, generalized body pain, multiple joint pain, pain in legs, musculoskeletal pain in men and women, hip pain, etc. are quite common instances of pains found in both urban and rural pockets of India. Such chronic pains usually occur among people in the age category of above 40 years.
For doctors, patient’s individual description of pain, its location and duration are the only way of learning about it and prescribing a solution.
Treatment: goals & methods
One immediate aim of the treatment of all chronic pains is to alleviate the suffering of patients and improve their mobility.
Doctors also prescribe self-management of chronic pain as the patient needs to think, act and do well in life in spite of his or her pain and become an active, healthy and involved member of the society. Improving communication with healthcare provider is found to be useful in self-management of chronic pain.
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