I found a new-t0-me resource that I believe I’m gonna have to devote a few days to exploring: this blog, “Overcoming Pain,” from Psychology Today. I know, I know – the fact that a chronic pain resource is located within a site devoted to psychology caused me a few moments of hair-pulling and a low-simmering rage but — check it out.
It’s not the same-old “pain is all in your head — by which I mean you’re freakin’ nuts, people” crap.
There’s some good info in there, like this piece on a recently released update to guidelines from (deep breath, ’cause this is a mouthful) the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Chronic Pain Management and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. (Phew.)
Although I should point out that the author of the blog, Dr. Mark Borigini (a board-certified rheumatologist, not a psych-dude), says:
By some measures (such as the proliferation in the marketplaces-both legal and illegal-of prescription pain medications), one could make an argument that chronic pain in these United States is becoming more prevalent, and perhaps even more intransigent; perhaps a manifestation of the chronic dissatisfaction and depression that seems to have become a part of living for so many.
Yeah, I don’t know about that. Personally, I think for most of us the depression comes after the freakin’ pain.
Anyway, the piece itself is worth reading. The guidelines go down the list of usual suspects — NSAIDs, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, etc. — and at least they’re saying pain should be treated pharmacologically — or at least that meds should be considered for chronic pain.
A medical professional group acknowledging that chronic pain is a medical problem and that medication should be considered part of the treatment approach: progress!