Acute and chronic pain sufferers can have a tough job dealing with their pain symptoms and causes (while dealing with daily life), and sometimes experience difficulty seeking pain treatment practitioners and alternatives to resolve their specific issues.
Some chronic (therefore long-term) pain sufferers can even be misdiagnosed as ‘drug seeking behaviors, and sometimes denied medication and treatments, until advanced diagnostics can be used to identify a precise origin of disease causing such severe pain. This can be particularly stressful and difficult for people who are uninsured or have expensive insurance deductibles. For example, it may be obvious to nearly everyone when a patient suffers from severe specific pain right after a car wreck or major surgery, but may not be so obvious for others to discern when patients are still suffering from these associated debilitating pains years later.
Pain sufferers are recommended to consider their “Pain Patient Bill of Rights.” The following pain suffers bill of rights were listed on Health Magazine, as follows:
"HEALTH Magazine, The Pain Patient’s Bill of Rights
1. Act in a way that promotes dignity and self-respect.
2. Be treated with respect.
3. Make mistakes.
4. Do less than you are humanly capable of doing.
5. Change your mind.
6. Ask for what you want.
7. Take time to slow down and think before you act.
8. Ask for information.
9. Ask for help or assistance.
10. Feel good about yourself.
12. Not have to explain everything you do and think.
13. Say "no" and not feel guilty.
14. Ask why.
15. Be listened to and taken seriously when expressing your feelings."
Not only can acute pain be caused by physical trauma injuries, pain can be also caused by a number of diseases, such as advancing stages of certain cancers, nerve or spinal degenerative diseases, organ failures, or even lupus.
The following is a list of typically painful diseases provided by NHS: “shingles, cluster headaches, frozen shoulder, broken bones, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), heart attack, slipped disc, cancer, arthritis, migraine, sciatica, kidney stones, appendicitis, trigeminal neuralgia, pancreatitis, gout, endometriosis, stomach ulcer, fibromyalgia, pain after an operation or physical trauma, and Lupus (added).”
Treatments for pain may include: pain medications, medical surgeries, physical therapy, dietary changes, yoga/meditation, massage, acupuncture, steroid injections, and limited/focused forms of exercise, fitness and conditioning, and physical therapy.
Many pain management organizations support a 'wholistic' approach that embraces multiple solutions and mind/body healing.
Pain medications, including over the counter non-narcotics drugs, such as NASIDs can either be quite helpful or can even result in death from overdoses and other complications, such as severe allergic reactions, in a small percentage of a population.
The following ‘Annual Causes of Death in the United States’ statistics point to general drug overdose numbers in 2010. “2010 Drug Overdose Mortality Data In Detail as Reported By Paulozzi et al. include: a drug overdose total 38,329, pharmaceutical drug (deaths) 22,134, and pharmaceutical opioid analgesics (deaths) 16,651.”
Even overdoses of common acetaminophen, while usually helpful to reduce low levels of muscle and joint pain, can also be dangerous, if taken to excess: “Tylenol overdoses 78,000 per year, Tylenol deaths 1,500 per year.”
Even common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs that offer pain relief and help many people, can also produce toxicity if taken to excess.
Mortality rates have been estimated conservatively to include; “16,500 annual NSAID-related deaths occur among patients.”
A partial list of common ‘over the counter NSAID names’ include: "ibuprofen (Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®), and aspirin (Bayer®). Prescription brands include: celecoxib (Celebrex®), diclofenac (Voltaren®), etodolac (Lodine®), fenoprefen (Nalfon®), indomethacin (Indocin®), ketoprofen (Orudis®, Oruvail®), ketoralac (Toradol®), oxaprozin (Daypro®), nabumetone (Relafen®), sulindac (Clinoril®), tolmetin (Tolectin®), and rofecoxib (Vioxx®).”
New England Journal of Medecine, 1999
Complications from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or “NSAID, have been linked to 103,000 hospitalizations and more than 16,000 deaths per year in the US, according to a study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics.”
While each of classes of over the counter drugs are generally considered quite safe and effective for most users, pain medications need to be taken as prescribed by label, or as advised by your primary care physician.
There are also some myths projected in the public about some dangers and statistics related to use of pain killers. The following link about ‘Prescription Painkiller Addiction: 7 Myths’ helps debunk some of the more obvious misconceptions portrayed by some groups.
Experts Debunk Myths About Prescription Pain Medication Addiction
Some 'low level' aches and pains are just a part of life, but chronic high or acute pain is not, and can be sign of a more serious condition. Most pain management support groups tend to advise that if you are suffering from severe or chronic pain, go see your doctor, identify a specialist to help you with specific pain management, and take charge of your health that supports a holistic pathway towards your recovery from pain and illness.