Is pain a disease, an illness or a warning mechanism that something is wrong?

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Pain is feared by many of us and the healthcare system has created mechanisms to control it through medications, surgeries and medical procedures. Is pain a disease, an illness or a warning mechanism that something is wrong?   Can it be that the medical system has gotten it wrong for years resulting in opioid addiction, side effects and medical procedures that were costly and provided little benefit or may have been avoidable altogether? Medicine has classified pain as an illness which makes it possible to prescribe medications to treat it.  Fibromyalgia is an example of this as it was created by a group of Rheumatologists who had similar cases and needed a way to medically classify them.  The disease of Fibromyalgia has unfortunately resulted in people with mechanical problems who have adapted poorly to slip through the system while finding a cure that leaves them in constant, all-consuming pain. Rheumatologists by training have little training in the musculoskeletal system and the mechanisms that make people hurt. Other professions such as chiropractic have understood that the mechanisms of pain are related to how we move, adapt and function and are able to control or resolve it without risky procedures drugs or expensive medical procedures. The difference in the approach to evaluation and treatment is more hands-on and even the relationships between the provider and the patient are different.  Chiropractors have assumed the role of primary care for the musculoskeletal system which has been poorly met by the medical system.

Are we afraid of pain?

None of us want to be in pain but the truth is, we are highly adaptive and pain can be a poor adaptation by the brain if the stimulus of pain goes on for too long in many of us.  These are frequently the people who should be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Others, have just inherited poor body mechanics or have had past injuries that later on affect how they feel or move.  Years later, those dysfunctions become painful, involving the fascial system and the joints. Can your doctor connect the dots or do they even know how?   If you have multiple problems such as a bad knee, back pain, and shoulder pain, do you need three specialists or a good general primary care physician for musculoskeletal who can understand that these problems are related?  More often than not, they are. The segmentation of care has been a huge cost driver of our healthcare system and has not improved the quality of care at all.   The truth is, it is like making soup with several people and hoping it tastes good while spending much more to make it. Is pain illness or a malfunction that requires the knowledge the doctor has to fit your unique situation.  Medical providers are trained to work within an allopathic model, which makes your pain or problem fit their specialty.   Physician bias is built into many healthcare provider specialties. Chiropractically speaking, we look at the patient first, and from a holistic point of view meaning we treat people, not just the symptoms they came in with.   If done properly, the person with the knee, back, and shoulder pain may see improvements in all these regions.  They may also notice they have more energy and feel better overall. Most people would feel and function better by visiting a chiropractor for their painful condition first.  Why not go to the best trained physician for their problem? Recently, the Washington Post published an interesting article on The Dangerous Fear of Pain.  It explores where patients and their healthcare providers often went wrong, resulting in problems such as the opioid crisis.   Pain is one of the largest cost drivers for our healthcare system.   The healthcare system can manage pain better.  It just needs to realize that less is more and less risky methods such as chiropractic are actually much higher value providers than the way they are currently viewed, and they are a solution to the cost and risks in the management of pain. Check out the article below

Our dangerous fear of pain

We used to know how to manage discomfort. Our quest to banish it brought on the opioid crisis.

By James D. Hudson NOVEMBER 27, 2019 One of the first things I learned about pain was its value. I was a third-year medical student in 1976. My first clinical rotation was in general surgery. The chief resident explained that a patient’s abdominal pain was the most useful tool we had in distinguishing the life-threatening condition of acute appendicitis from a more benign ailment such as stomach flu or constipation. He warned us not to treat that pain before the attending surgeon had a chance to place his hands on the patient’s abdomen. We were also encouraged to listen carefully to the patient’s experience of pain, the timing, the duration and any factors that made it better or worse. Read more