Chronic Pain is real, unremitting, and persists over time. Chronic
pain afflicts over fifty million people in the U.S. annually. Appropriate
pain management can now effectively help most patients find some
relief from their suffering. A specialist, trained in the use of
the most up-to-date treatments, best manages chronic pain. He understands
that all pain is not the same, and should not be treated the same.
Chronic pain impacts work, sleep, personal relationships, and social
life. It can slow recovery from other health related issues. No
one should feel they just, "have to live with it." The
earlier treatment for pain is started, the better the results are
likely to be.
Not all pain is alike, and the best way for a physician to help
a patient who lives with chronic pain is to learn as much as possible
from that patient. Because of this, it is critical that a patient
be willing to communicate honestly with the doctor. It can also
be helpful to keep a daily log about the pain:
- When it occurs (day and time)
- What the patient was doing at its onset
- Its intensity
- What helps relieve the pain
- Description of the pain
- Any change in activities due to the pain.
Remember to take the log to each doctor's appointment.
Listed below are some common terms used to describe pain. However,
if these do not adequately describe the pain, please use others.
Pins and Needles
Although some people may be concerned about developing an addiction
to certain pain medications (such as morphine), that rarely occurs
if used as directed by the doctor. Several non-drug therapies may
relieve pain as well. These may include exercise, massage, relaxation
therapy, acupuncture and others. Use of hot or cold compresses may
offer some relief as well.
The American Pain Foundation
201 North Charles Street, Suite 710
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
"Founded in 1997, the American Pain Foundation is an independent
nonprofit 501(c)3 organization serving people with pain through
information, education and advocacy. Our mission is to improve the
quality of life for people with pain by raising public awareness,
providing practical information, promoting research, and advocating
to remove barriers and increase access to effective pain management."
The American Chronic Pain Association
PO Box 850
Rocklin, CA 95677
"The ACPA: offering support and information
for people with chronic pain.
to facilitate peer support and education for individuals with
chronic pain and their families so that these individuals may live
more fully in spite of their pain.
to raise awareness among the health care community, policy
makers, and the public at large about issues of living with chronic
The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) is a non-profit, tax
exempt organization with more than 400 chapters
system for people with chronic pain through education in pain management
skills and self-help group activities."