By Ed Coghlan.
When over 100 California thought-leaders and luminaries in pain management (physicians, payers, administrators, policy makers, etc.) gather in Los Angeles November 2nd to develop a California Pain Strategy, they will hear from Christin Veasley.
Christin Veasley is an important voice in chronic pain—she’s co-founder and director of the Chronic Pain Research Alliance who has been working to attract more research to co-morbid pain conditions.
Chronic pain patients, and especially women, commonly have multiple sites and sources of pain. In other words, it’s not just one thing.
But research tends on focus on specific conditions: migraine, fibromyalgia, failed back surgery for instance and not enough research is being done to advance research on co-morbid chronic pain where patients have more than one type of chronic pain.
Veasley will bring that message to California as the group seeks to localize key recommendations from the National Institutes of Health’s National Pain Strategy in the Golden State.
Veasley, who has suffered from chronic pain since she was in a near-fatal accident in her teens, was on the oversight committee of the National Pain Strategy.
“Huge advocacy efforts on the part of the patients is needed,” she said. “Promoting and investing in rigorous multi-disciplinary pain research should be a priority.
The National Pain Strategy, which was developed with great fanfare, has been hard to implement because “it simply hasn’t been a national priority,” she said.
And she asks, “maybe the United States is too big to do this on a national level, so a key state or two like California could demonstrate that the basic tenets of the National Pain Strategy can work, and other states would follow.”
She believes the National Pain Strategy covers all the bases necessary to improve education about and treatment of chronic pain. She pointed out that over 70 organizations have supported it.
“The federal government’s investment in pain research over many decades has not been commensurate with its public health burden, so we find ourselves in this place,” she said. “We must do better.”
Her message in California will be that the National Pain Strategy is the right recipe for dealing with chronic pain and that efforts to implement it, even at the state level, make good sense for the chronic pain patients and their loved ones.