How Could Pain Management Hurt You?
Health articles abound in the news, with many of them focused on the issue of pain. Whether it is our soldiers returning home, people being under-treated, or those that suffer from conditions like back pain, coping with pain is an issue that affects many. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 25 percent of all adults in the country suffer from pain. Estimates put the number of people hurting at around 50 million. For many people it is a chronic problem. The CDC reports that nearly three-fifths of adults over the age of 65 with pain said that they had been in pain for over a year. Because of its prevalence, pain management has become center stage in many healthcare settings.
"Pain is no longer a silent problem in the country," explains Phil Walls, senior vice president of pharmacy operations for myMatrixx, a Tampa-based company specializing in pharmaceutical solutions and pain management. "Yet if it's not properly managed, pain may become a huge drain on someone's life. It can prevent that individual from working and sleeping, and may greatly reduce their quality of life."
myMatrixx tackles the issue of pain management, working with professionals across the country to bring much-needed relief to many patients. With its focus on pain management, myMatrixx has partnered with experts across the country in order to help patients in ways beyond the relief provided by prescription drugs alone. In fact, Dr. Steven Stanos, medical director for both myMatrixx and the Rehabilitative Institute of Chicago, states that oftentimes his first action is to help patients decrease their need for narcotic pain relievers, also known as opioids.
myMatrixx and its partners concur with what the research shows: that pain is a huge drain on the country, costing Americans over $100 billion each year, including $60 billion in lost productivity. The problem is that when people with chronic pain -- that which has lasted more than six months -- get re-evaluated, they usually just get a higher dose of opioids or even additional opioids.
"We know that more pain medication is not the best route to take," adds Walls. "Such treatment usually may end up as ineffective and simply masks the problem, instead of getting to the root of what is causing the pain. We take the view that, to manage pain effectively, it must be evaluated regularly, and drugs must be considered as only one part of the overall management. Realistic expectations must be set for each individual patient, and in addition, the patient must be taught coping skills."