By Amanda Conschafter, blog editor
Public television viewers around the country can tune in this month for “Learning About Pain Management,” an episode of the long-running Healthy Body, Healthy Mind series. Featuring physical therapists, psychologists and physicians – including AfPA board member Dr. Srinivas Nalamachu – the segment explores the multi-faceted treatment of pain. The video also highlights several pain patients’ personal battles.
As the video’s experts explain, pain is a “silent killer” that affects more than 100 million Americans annually at the cost of $600 billion. Though primary care providers treat most patients with pain, several branches of health care collide – and collaborate – in offering effective pain management. As primary care and specialty physicians help patients manage pain and identify its source, physical therapists help patients increase their mobility and function. Occupational therapists, likewise, can be required to aid patients in mastering everyday activities to function in their environments.
The psychological toll of pain can often require the aid of psychologists. As patients featured in the video describe, pain can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep disruptions and other health challenges.
When patients require a pharmacological component to their pain management regimen, physicians often first perform an opioid risk assessment. Such precautions, coupled with the increasing availability of risk-deterrent medication formulas, helps physicians treat pain while minimizing instances of abuse and addiction.
But addressing society’s widespread opioid abuse, the video acknowledges, will also require robust, ongoing dialogue among diverse stakeholders. And efforts must ensure that anti-abuse strategies don’t impede patients’ legitimate access to pain medication – or undermine medical breakthroughs poised to occur in the industry in coming years.
To view the segment in full, visit ITV’s website or check your local public television schedule.