Chronic Pain Community Wants Alternatives
A new report commissioned by a neurostimulation company says members of the chronic pain community are grappling with how to manage their conditions under increased scrutiny from the federal government.
The report – entitled “Flipping the Script: Living with Chronic Pain amid the Opioid Crisis”— was commissioned by NeuroMetrix, a commercial stage neurostimulation and digital medicine company and creators of Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology.
“The rise of the opioid epidemic has had a significant impact on those living with chronic pain, and oftentimes the voice of this population has gotten lost. We wanted to shine some light on the experiences of chronic pain sufferers with this research,” said Shai N. Gozani, Ph.D., M.D., president and CEO of NeuroMetrix. “These results underscore the need for more research and treatment modalities to support those living with chronic pain, as well as a joint effort among care providers, innovators, government stakeholders and patients to expand the goals of pain treatment. If we shift focus to making the end goal of pain treatment about decreasing suffering and disability rather than exclusively pain intensity, we may open ourselves to new possibilities and treatments that will empower those with chronic pain to find relief and gain greater control over their lives.”
Key report findings include:
The opioid epidemic has created an unfair stigma for those living with chronic pain. A majority of respondents (84 percent) believe a stigma exists, and as a result, 50 percent indicated they have lied or hidden their opioid use from others.
This stigma is affecting treatment of care. More than a third (34 percent) had to stop taking opioids because their doctor no longer prescribed them, and 42 percent stated the stigma of opioid use has impacted how they communicate with their doctor about their pain.
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