By Ed Coghlan.
A recent National Pain Report article about a book on Back Pain has, not surprisingly, elicited quite a response from many of our readers.
It was about a book written by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin titled: Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery.
It argues that most of the intervention that the medical industry does to treat this huge problem has mixed results at best—and concludes “back pain is one of those nearly universal ailments with no cure. Patients and taxpayers wind up paying the price for this failure, both in dollars and in health.”
Our readers sounded off:
A reader identified only as Maureen thinks Ramin didn’t write the right book:
“When is someone going to start talking with us ‘permanently scarred and damaged chronic pain folks’ and write a book about how to help and manage us and our permanent damage?! I know it’s complicated but we are in need of proper help and guidance. Not suggestions for the average person in pain. We are far from average.
Another reader identified as Grey said his mother’s doctors weren’t listening to her.
“Mom was told it was all in her head, to see a therapist. When they finally did imaging, it was clear that bone spurs were cutting into her spine. She had a cervical laminectomy within a month. Therapy is often used in a dismissive way. The problem must be imaged if the patient’s symptoms are red flags.
Stacy Cooper–who first had a fusion in 2010—asked a question about insurance companies that we hear often.
“Why does the medical insurers get away with not paying for therapies that help? I had no problem having insurance pay for both neck and back surgery.
Joseph Atkison—like many—argued that the reduction in available opioid pain medicine is hurting the patients.
“What do we do about the FDA pulling our pain meds off the market because of some idiotic people!!! I needed that medicine (because) it’s the only thing tht works!!!
Don—reacted to my own personal recollection that exercise was helping me in my 40 year battle with chronic back pain.
“His thinking makes people without chronic back pain think all we need to do is wake up in the morning and bend over and touch our toes a few times and we will be pain free.
Kathy C asked what is a critical question not only about back pain but chronic pain treatment generally.
“We have had no Scientists, Statisticians or Medial Practitioners weigh in this in a credible scientific way. The silence is deafening. The Biggest Takeaway is the lack of Objective Science. We have no more understanding of pain now than we did 30 years ago!”
Kathy’s comment started me thinking (again) about how chronic pain is (or is not) treated. More on that tomorrow.