WINSTON-SALEM, NC – (BUSINESS WIRE) – In the United States, approximately 50 million adults suffer from chronic pain, according to an analysis by the National Health Interview Survey. On Independence Day, the World Institute of Pain highlights the growing field of research and treatment options that are helping Americans live free from chronic pain. Unfortunately, chronic pain patients often experience their pain as an “invisible” disease that is not taken seriously enough by the medical community; Therefore, it is critical that clinicians rethink their understanding and management of these conditions and lead patients to independence from their pain.
Dr. Peter Staats, President of the World Institute of Pain, says, “Chronic pain has historically been viewed through a behavioral lens as if it were only in the minds of patients. While patients understand that chronic pain is not imaginary, clinicians can also do their part to free patients from the stigma associated with it by taking a holistic approach that takes into account three modulators of chronic pain: cognition, behavior, and biology. We are finally collecting an incredible arsenal of tools and research to help patients overcome their chronic physical pain as well as the emotional pain that arises from marginalization. ”
There are many types of chronic pain such as migraines and cluster headaches, chronic back pain, cancer pain, fibromyalgia, and lastly, long distance COVID-19 symptoms. Chronic pain affects those affected in a number of ways, including: B. by interfering with their daily life by preventing them from work and other important activities. It can also affect self-esteem, promote anger and depression, disrupt sleep, and increase stress levels – all of which can actually make the pain worse.
Research into chronic pain has reached new heights in the health care industry, and luckily, new therapies that allow independence from chronic pain are being vigorously tested on many fronts.
Recent innovations include non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS), new waveforms to improve the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation, and drug strategies such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) therapy for migraines. Research has shown that the vagus nerve, one of the longest and most important nerves in the body, is linked to headaches and migraines. Activating the vagus nerve with light electrical stimulation without surgery can acutely treat and prevent both conditions. One nVNS product currently available is FDA-approved gammaCore from electroCore, Inc. Research into nVNS applications is ongoing and could provide treatments for other causes of chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia. As headache pain and other types of chronic pain are reduced, the need for other treatments, such as opioids, which were once the most common therapy for chronic pain, is also reduced.
“Migraines are a great example of invisible chronic pain that we now have incredible new treatments for,” adds Dr. State added. “Often times, doctors feel comfortable relying on the same approach to treatment, which may no longer be the most effective. Medical research on many of these disorders is developing at a rapid pace, but these breakthrough treatments will not reach patients’ hands unless doctors know about it. To help our patients better overcome their chronic pain, doctors need to consider newer strategies and keep up to date with research and advanced treatments that didn’t exist five years ago. ”
One goal of these new treatments is to reduce reliance on opioids and other prescription drugs as a comprehensive approach to pain relief. Dr. Amol Soin, President of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), has long studied and written on the causes and therapies of pain with an emphasis on non-opioid treatments. He writes: “The focus on diseases that cause severe pain and underlying opioid abuse on the prescription pad is directly aligned with my work for the past 18 years.” He adds that he is fully committed to “Millions of patients.” “To help those suffering from pain that cause disease … and [making] Have an impact on society by reducing the need for opioid prescriptions. ”
“When we think of our Independence Day in the United States, we should take a minute to think about the freedoms that science enables in many ways, including freedom from emotional and physical pain,” concludes Dr. Heads of state.
The World Institute of Pain (WIP) provides educational resources in pain medicine, specialized hands-on training and workshops, related conferences and seminars, clinician exchanges, and is an international community of experts in the field. WIP drives personal and practical growth with the support of a global group passionate about patient care.