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Pain-stricken: It is better not to treat chronic pain independently

Pain-stricken: It is better not to treat chronic pain independently



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23 million pain patients: experts criticize inadequate care
Chronic pain has long become a widespread disease in Germany. Around 23 million Germans are affected. Experts criticize the inadequate care of patients. Those affected are advised not to treat their complaints on their own.

Chronic pain affects more than one in four Germans
"Around 23 million Germans (28%) report chronic pain, 95% of them chronic pain that is not caused by tumor diseases," wrote the German Pain Society in a statement on the nationwide "Action Day Against Pain" on June 6. According to experts, there are major deficits in the comprehensive care of pain patients in Germany. Before they receive the correct diagnosis and adequate therapy, they often have a long path of suffering. Nevertheless, the quick access to pain relievers is not a good solution.

Patients usually have to wait a long time for treatment
"Unfortunately, pain patients have to go through an odyssey of more than six years on average before they are finally presented to a pain therapist," Sven Gottschling, the chief doctor at the Center for Palliative Medicine and Child Pain Therapy at the Saarland University Hospital, told the German Press Agency.

One of the reasons for this is that there are too few pain therapists. This is also due to the fact that they should only treat 300 patients per quarter.

"If you decide to become a registered pain doctor, it almost means total economic loss," said Gottschling.

Only about 1,000 doctors in Germany are active as pain therapists. "The general conditions are totally bad - for the doctor and therefore also for the patient."

Redistribute for the benefit of the patient
The managing director of the German Pain Society, Thomas Isenberg, confirmed this: "We need to set different priorities within the medical remuneration system," said the expert, according to dpa.

“Multimodal pain therapy is at the bottom. It has to be redistributed within the medical profession for the benefit of the patient. "

In order to improve the quality of acute pain treatment and to make the clinics comparable, the company demands that a pain indicator be introduced by law, similar to hygiene, for hospitals.

Pain relievers can damage organs
According to Gottschling, sufferers would have to wait six to nine months for an appointment with a pain therapist. "Then the chronification is so advanced that you run after the problems."

As a result, patients can be prescribed tablets, which, according to Gottschling, are often "high-risk drugs" that "seriously endanger the patient".

It is also problematic if those affected use over-the-counter pain relievers from the pharmacy. Gottschling considers this a "complete disaster", since these substances could cause massive damage to the organs.

Instead, the chief doctor welcomes the professional use of morphine preparations or, with restrictions, cannabis.

However, US scientists have reported that opioid pain relievers such as morphine could trigger chronic pain.

Treat pain alternatively
Gottschling not only sees deficits in the fight against pain in the financial and legal framework, but also in the training of doctors and insufficiently qualified staff in hospitals and care facilities.

"No one has to put up with the fact that he is in pain," says the doctor. "Of course, we cannot promise it to everyone, but we could help most with relatively simple means."

However, the problem is that many do not even know what kind of help is available - this applies not only to those affected, but also to the doctors.

According to numerous experts, chronic pain can often be treated well without painkillers.

Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and yoga for back pain or relaxation techniques for severe headaches and migraines are available.

And Tai Chi also helps with chronic jokes. (ad)

Author and source information


Video: Chronic Pain: From Survival to Support. Kat Naud. TEDxUNBSaintJohn (August 2022).