Conventionally Trained Physicians Get Less Than 2-Hours Of Education On Pain

Anyone and everyone who is living with chronic pain must fully grasp and deeply digest the following sentence: “When it comes to relieving pain, there are widespread knowledge gaps on the part of conventionally-trained physicians, who on average receive less than two hours of education on pain in medical school.” Posted at in an article entitled, Trying Everything for Chronic Pain, this sentence could provide a sense of relief and perhaps greater hopefulness for those who do suffer from chronic pain. The fact of the matter is that treated correctly and consistently, most chronic pain – which only means that some pain lasts longer than most pain – can be cured or substantially reduced.

Another bit of information for those who suffer chronic pain and seek treatment from mainstream medical professionals is that “Most of their post-graduate information comes from drug company reps, drug company-sponsored conferences and medical journals that stay afloat with drug company advertising.” The article continues with, “If you’re depending on a conventionally trained physician to guide you in managing your pain, you will not learn about the many non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical options that are available for pain relief. These alternative options are often more effective and much safer.”

Drugs, Surgeries, Injections, And Limited Physical Therapy Do Not Work

Most people suffering with chronic pain have tried everything that health insurance covers. They’ve tried drugs, many of which are opioids and highly addictive, but which insurance companies cover the costs of indefinitely. They’ve tried surgeries, which often create more problems than they solve. They’ve tried any number of epidural steroid injections, which usually work for short periods of time and carry risks.

People Need Insurance Coverage For Safer More Effective Pain Treatments

The sad and seemingly criminal truth is that people in pain are being denied insurance coverage for safer, more effective treatments including physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, biofeedback, acupuncture, marijuana, low level laser therapy, psychotherapy, nutritional and herbal interventions and more. In some cases, such as with chiropractic and physical therapy, some insurance covers limited treatment. But far too often the coverage isn’t appropriate for the correct term of treatment.

We need a law that requires health insurance companies to cover all proven effective treatments for pain to the same degree that they cover pharmaceuticals. We also need a law that requires physicians to be educated about the other alternative therapies.  

Research Studies Reveal The Most Effective Treatment For Chronic Pain

The article I’ve cited throughout also states, “According to research studies, the most effective treatment for chronic pain is an interdisciplinary one, where health care providers from different disciplines all evaluate a patient and collectively come up with a comprehensive treatment plan that includes body-based and mind-based treatments and emphasizes self-management skills. Insurance companies in the U.S. used to provide coverage for interdisciplinary pain treatment programs, but with the advent of opioids, which they saw as a cheaper alternative, stopped paying for them. There used to be about 1000 interdisciplinary pain clinics in the U.S., now there are only about 50.” This is unacceptable. We must push for changes that will bring relief to the suffering. The author of the article has started a petition for a “Pain Treatment Parity Act.” I’ve included the link where you can sign to demand access insurance coverage for safer and more effective therapies.

Sign my petition on for a Pain Treatment Parity Act

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