Over 20 percent of Americans aged 60 and over have chronic pain due to arthritis, other joint pain or back pain, and over 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.
Pain costs an estimated $100 billion each year, with lost workdays due to pain adding up to over $50 million a year.
Unfortunately, less than half of those individuals with pain receive optimal treatment.
If you suffer from any type of pain, is it your mortal enemy for life?
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, board certified internist and Medical Director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and Chronicity, says that most doctors and other health professionals look at pain as if it is the main problem, like hypertension or diabetes, and forget that it is often simply an important indicator of problems that need to be taken care of.
Pain tells you when you need to avoid something (or some activity) or pay attention to something so that you do not cause damage to yourself. In addition, it tells you when your body is not getting something that it needs (i.e., sleep, nutrients, oxygen, etc.).
To simply mask the pain with medication would be like covering up the “low oil” warning light on your dashboard because it was annoying you. Therefore, in addition to teaching you how to turn off the pain signal, Dr. Teitelbaum can help you understand what the pain is trying to tell you that your body needs.
When pain becomes chronic, however, it may cause more harm than good. At that point, when the underlying problems that need attention have been addressed, it is very important to turn off/mask any pain that still persists.
Listen in as Dr. Teitelbaum joins Dr. Susanne to explain how pain mechanisms work, as well as the most effective ways to address both chronic and acute pain.