Chronic Pain Is Common, Costly, Poorly Treated

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), September 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

Chronic Pain Is Common, Costly, Poorly Treated


Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Jennifer Wagner and Peter Kosek

Jamie was 22 years old when a drunken driver ran a red light and hit the sport utility vehicle in which she was a passenger, breaking her pelvis.

Now just 35, Jamie has endured years of rehabilitation but still suffers from constant pain in her hip and lower back. The chronic pain affects every aspect of her life: her sleep, her emotions and her ability to exercise and to sit or stand for long periods.

Stories such as Jamie's are common. While her original injury has been treated, the pain continues. Despite the high prevalence and cost of pain, our health care system does not effectively assess and treat chronic pain patients.

As a result, both the under-treatment of pain and the misuse of prescription pain medications are major health crises.

In Lane County, approximately 117,000 of our family, friends and neighbors are affected by pain. Chronic pain reduces the quality of life for millions of people - nearly one-third of Americans - and costs society $560 billion to $635 billion each year in lost productivity and medical treatment.

Evaluating and treating pain is complex. The physical, emotional and cognitive effects can become "chronic pain syndrome," a disease in its own right.

Treatment requires attending to biological as well as emotional and cognitive disturbances. Many patients do not receive the comprehensive, interdisciplinary care that is the most effective therapy for treating chronic pain syndrome and restoring function.

For licensure of medical professionals, the Oregon Legislature mandates only seven contact hours of provider education in the evaluation and treatment of pain. So short a time serves only as an introduction to the treatment of patients with chronic pain. To ensure that patients receive the care they need, additional educational programs for health care professionals, such as the upcoming annual conference of the Western Pain Society, are needed.

Compounding the problems of evaluation and treatment is inadequate insurance coverage.

In Lane County, 23 percent of adults younger than 65 have no health insurance. Patients disabled by pain are even more likely to be uninsured. Many insurance plans do not cover care that is proven to greatly improve patients' lives.

For instance, psychological counseling can prevent serious depression and anxiety resulting from persistent pain. Yet many insurance companies, including the Oregon Health Plan, cap this type of therapy or refuse to recognize pain as a valid diagnosis for mental health care.

It is also imperative that the medical community appreciate that we have by no means exhausted the possibilities for identifying effective pain management therapies.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Chronic Pain Is Common, Costly, Poorly Treated
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.