Pain Management Difficult, Subjective For Patients, Physicians

October 20, 2008
Fort Worth Business Press

It’s difficult to treat something that is hard to measure.

However, an estimated 76 million Americans who suffer from pain, according to the National Centers for Health Statistics, must deal with their sometimes debilitating problems while trying to seek medical treatment that is based on subjective reports.

The American Academy of Pain Medicine estimates chronic pain costs the United States anywhere between $60 billion and $100 billion every year in health care expenses, lost income and lost productivity. Many Americans live with pain every day, and they may live with the pain for decades.

As the baby boomers encounter the aches and pains of growing older, physicians estimate there are millions of Americans who are not adequately controlling their pain. Much of that may have to do with common pain treatments, and specialty physicians are looking for ways to educate more doctors and patients about what can be done to cut down on pain and restore functionality. More…