Perfecting Pain Management for Better Living

Businessman With Backache

(DGIwire) – Pain is arguably the most common of all health complaints, with the discomfort usually short-lived. For many, however, pain is not easily reduced or eliminated. Insights on this dilemma were recently provided by Dr. William H. McCarberg, a founding member of the Chronic Pain Management Program at Kaiser Permanente, San Diego, and voluntary assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego. McCarberg conducted a survey using PubMed.gov, an online resource of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The survey was designed to assess the physical, psychological and economic impact pain has on the lives of individuals suffering pain, and to identify the unmet needs of patients who have taken opioid medications to treat their pain. McCarberg also examined how difficult it is for doctors to effectively treat patients with chronic pain, since determining the best treatment option has become an increasingly exacting science.

Not surprisingly, the survey results supported what many physicians observe in their practice and hear from patients—pain negatively impacts quality of life. Many chronic pain sufferers gave evidence of the effect on their mental health, employment status, sleep and personal relationships. The survey also found a majority of doctors agreed that pain management is a science still being perfected. In terms of treatment, the survey found inadequate pain control, end-of-dose pain and side effects associated with increased dosing were reported as negative factors influencing patients’ choice of pain medication. Clearly, there must be effective communication between physicians and patients to improve overall pain management and establish shared treatment goals with functional outcomes.

One specialty pharmaceutical company focused on these challenges is BioDelivery Sciences International (BDSI). Dr. Mark A. Sirgo, President and CEO of BDSI, says, “A key task in medicine is developing treatments for chronic pain that present a lower risk of abuse than existing treatments.  People need reliable therapeutics that allow them to cope with their pain so they can work and enjoy everyday activities of living without constant pain.  We are dedicated to helping these patients.”

Let’s all hope the science of pain management reaches new frontiers.

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