What a pain! Chronic Pain that is!

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Hospital News, Canada's Health Care Newspaper, published an article in their April 2011 issue entitled "More Support for People Living With Chronic Pain", by Lynn Cooper, the President of the Canadian Pain Coalition (CPC). The article revealed that 21% of Canadians living with chronic pain had to wait more than 2 years for their diagnosis. Of those who actually received a diagnosis, slightly more than half had a treatment plan to help manage their chronic pain.

The Pain Resource Centre at the Canadian Pain Coalition website is a medically vetted central resource for information on pain and pain management.Dr. John Clark, medical advisor to the CPC and Medical Director of Pain Services, Capital Health in Halifax, believes that when you have chronic pain, the key to living well and feeling productive is to:

  • Arm yourself with information about your condition;
  • Find support through online groups or peer support programs;
  • Work with your doctor and other health care professionals to develop a multi-disciplinary treatment plan that best suits your needs.

The article advised that currently, poorly managed pain care costs the health-care system $6 billion a year. Overall, the cost to Canadian society as a whole is $37 billion.The CPC along with the Canadian Pain Society are creating a National Pain Strategy that will encourage changes to Canada's Health Care Systems resulting in timely effective pain care for Canadians.

To read the whole article, click here.Going back to the idea of a National Pain Strategy, in the fall of 2010, the CPC presented their thoughts to the House of Commons ( Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care) in their brief entitled "The Status of Pain in Canada- Moving Toward a Canadian Pain Strategy":

  • Canadians do not recognize pain as a health priority;
  • One in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain;
  • A National Pain Strategy would recognize pain as a chronic disease and promote improved access to services, address awareness, education, clinical research and effective pain management;
  • The International Pain Summit in Montreal held September 2010 confirmed the declaration that "Access to Pain Management is a Fundamental Human Right".

To highlight some of the proposed recommendations:

  1. Official recognition of chronic pain as a chronic disease in Canada to promote a shift in attitudes, promote the idea that access to pain management is a fundamental human right. The idea is to foster a willingness to invest in effective pain care.
  2. Create and implement a Canadian Pain Strategy to work with all levels of government, the CPC and its partners to create a strategy to reshape the Health Care Systems to be more sensitive to pain and provide effective pain management.
  3. Canada's Health Care System should become more support of pain care, by creating community networks or teams for multidisciplinary pain management. Different types of doctors and specialists can work together.
  4. Education for the general public and health care professionals about pain and pain management. There is a need for education regarding chronic pain in health professional curricula. There is also a need to provide timely access to educational materials to a patient once a diagnosis of chronic pain is made.

To read the complete brief, click here.

Acute Pain vs. Chronic Pain Pain: A feeling of distress, suffering, or agony, caused by stimulation of specialized nerved endings. According to medical dictionaries, the purpose of pain is protective. Pain acts as a warning sign that tissues are being damaged. Pain tells you to remove or withdraw from the source of discomfort.Acute Pain: Acute pain is severe pain, that occurs within the first 24-48 hours of an event such as trauma or surgery.Chronic Pain: Chronic pain continues over a prolonged period (ie 3-6 months) and can be less intense than acute pain. Chronic pain is pain can stem from conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and pain that persists without an explanation after normal healing has occurred.

At Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP we recognize that chronic pain is very real and we understand that pain lingers long after an accident occurs and treatments have been given. We believe in our clients' deserve the highest quality of rehabilitation, treatment plans, pain management and care. We work closely with rehab workers and support workers to assist our clients on their journey to their pre-accident selves. We also are fortunate to have an excellent Medical Consultant on our team, Dianne Henderson, who brings her expertise in nursing and patient care advocacy to the firm.


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