Treatment for chronic pain can be lethal, but there is an answer

 作者:卫缕     |      日期:2017-12-22 06:07:20
Caroline Barbera/picturetank YOU may have done it: shrugged off someone’s complaints of pain when there seems to be nothing physically wrong with them. That’s true for professionals, too: doctors may dismiss people who complain of chronic pain, particularly if they are women or minorities. Any treatment tends to involve powerful, and potentially lethal, painkillers. That’s fuelled a crisis of huge proportions. In the US, where opioid prescriptions are rampant, there were around 50 deaths from overdose per day in 2014. And opioids don’t treat pain, only blunt how acutely it is felt. There may be a way out. The key is to recognise that chronic pain has observable, measurable and potentially treatable effects on people’s brains (see “Hurt blocker: To treat chronic pain, look to the brain not body“). That should force the medical profession to take complainants seriously. Understanding that the brain’s wiring is implicated in chronic pain offers hope that some people could be treated with meditation or exercise. It’s important to be clear this is about the brain, not the mind. People with chronic conditions often resist them being described as psychological, for fear they will be dismissed. Whether those fears are well founded, in this case, that would be a misunderstanding – and a tragic one. This article appeared in print under the headline “Make the pain stop” More on these topics: