Today's subject affects 20% of the US population because 1 of 5 adults experience pain. In our audience, it’s probably more than that because as you get older, it's more likely that you’re going to have pain. For the retirement years, this is also a good subject to talk about. My husband Les Briney is joining us for today's show as we discuss, how pain affects people.
Acute and Chronic Pain
As a result of Les’ cancer. He has pain that is semi-chronic. By the way, there are 2 types of pain, there’s acute pain and chronic pain. Acute is usually very sharp pains and they don’t last that long. Chronic pain lasts for more than 6 months. This is according to the definition by Cleveland Clinic.
Les has stage 4 advanced metastatic prostate cancer. Meaning his cancer has spread to several places in his body. But he seems to be doing ok yet feeling some pain. He has acute pain from time to time. When he went for his chemo he has a lot of pain. Mainly the pain was a nerve type as opposed to joint type. The pains are sharp and shooting that occurs on different parts of his body.
Pain Affects People Differently
About 50 million Americans report pain every day. 20 million of that 50 million can’t do their activities of daily living because of that pain. We also have friends who encounter that same problem.
Pain is both a sensory and emotional experience that affects people differently. What's more, there is a difference between how you are confronted with pain and how you go on to tolerate it. Your body has different reactions to try to reduce the pain. That is why it affects people differently.
How Physicians Treat Their Patients
A report prepared by Congress said that for every physician certified in pain care there are more than 28,500 Americans living in chronic pain. Also, doctors treat patients differently depending on what their gender is, ethnic background and all kinds of things. Women, for instance, don’t get necessarily the same reaction to pain when a doctor is a man. 70% of doctors are males. So, you already have some bias there.
Acute pain is treated normally through drugs and it’s a temporary thing. Chronic pain drugs cannot make the pain go away. Also, when you use opioids for chronic pain it becomes less effective over time.
When it comes to older people with pain, they are put off by doctors because they think that it’s expected as you grow older.
Treat Pain Through Combination of Things That You Do
Each person's pain should be treated by a combination of things that you do. It’s not something for chronic pain in particular. It is also not something that you can do once and that will be the end. This is something that you’re going to have to do for probably the rest of your life to try to get rid of the pain. The combination of all the things that the article talked about makes very good sense.
The fact that it’s personal says your combination is going to be different from my combination. In Les’ case, probably the key thing is a combination of sleep and exercise. Because when Les does those things, generally, he feels better. With sleep, if you have pain, you can’t sleep. So, Les’ use Ibuprofen to keep the pain down as such a level for him to sleep. You have to think about other things than pain. That is why you have to move around and occasionally use pain killers.
It is important that you understand the symptoms of pain and how to reduce pain. Dealing with pain whether acute or chronic is difficult but proper knowledge will help a lot in alleviating your problem.
Mentioned in this Episode:
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