Raising public awareness about non-pharmacologic options

September 27, 2017

September is Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month, designated by the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) of the American Hospital Association official health care calendar. This year, the goal is to raise public awareness about non-pharmacologic options, such as chiropractic care and massage therapy, to safely and effectively relieve acute, subacute and chronic pain.

Prescription opioid use and abuse that leads to addiction and catastrophic outcomes has become a national crisis. Unfortunately, Rx painkillers are often recommended for low back, neck and musculoskeletal pain management.

In fact, a recent study by the Department of Health & Human Services stated that on an average day in the U.S. more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed. Patients who are suffering should look into other options to reduce pain and increase function.

Undertreated chronic pain significantly impairs quality of life, and can be severely physically, psychologically, and socially debilitating.

Some basic key facts about pain management are:

• Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.

• Workers lose an average of 4.6 hours per week of productive time due to a pain condition.

• An estimated 20 percent of American adults report that pain or discomfort disrupts their sleep a few nights a week or more.

• 80 percent of people in the United States will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

• Besides the common cold, back pain is the number one reason people visit their family doctors.

Pain Awareness Month serves not simply as a month for clinicians to improve their skills in pain management, but as a powerful means to convey the compelling message that millions of people continue to suffer from something that deserves proper management. It is an opportunity for those who suffer from an “invisible” illness to finally have their voices heard, and incite much-needed change.

If you would like more information about Decatur County Memorial Hospital’s Pain Management Center, please call 812-663-1185.