A medical doctor shares his frustration with treating pain. A problem that plagues in the box medical thinking on pain.
It must be frustrating to try to understand pain thinking of it clinically without having the tools to adequately evaluate and treat it other than using medication. A doctor who wrote this column in the NY Times faces a professional crisis where on one end, people who are taking off the shelf medication may not get adequate relief while others, become addicted to opioid based meds that require a detox program to get off of.
Another option exists but it does not seem that he even noticed that a profession called chiropractic may have the tools necessary to help these patients stay off meds. Commonly, patients who are sent for pain management who never visit a chiropractor become addicted to medications since the doctors do not learn how to evaluate the musculoskeletal system appropriately. Instead of understanding why the person hurts, their attention is pointed toward where, and usually an injection or a medication in a hit or miss regimen is the recommended solution.
Most people would like to go through life being lucid, and chronic use of pain meds begets other problems such as addiction and organ damage. Why are these patients not offered other alternatives and instead, being placed on medications that cannot possibly work to resolve mechanically based problems, the most common reason for chronic pain?
While this doctor is concerned with an ethical obligation to his patient, wouldn’t it be more ethical to refer the patient to someone who really can help this person feel better and avoid medication?
Read the article here