“Proper Pain Management is the comprehensive integration of multiple complex treatment options that yields an effective and safe patient outcome”
— Dr. Jay Joshi, CEO and Medical Director of the National Pain Centers
Chronic Pain is the most common and most unknown medical condition in America. It affects an estimated 116 million Americans. That figure does not include children, individuals in nursing homes or chronic care facilities, prisons, or the military,which makes the impact even more significant. This is higher than the total number of patients with of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes combined. Over 1/3 of the American population has Chronic Pain. Untreated, under treated, or inappropriately treated pain can compromise every aspect of life, including a person’s physical and mental health, social and intimate relations, ability to sleep and perform everyday tasks, work productivity, and financial well-being.
The official definition of pain is “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage”. In other words, anything that hurts. Chronic Pain is pain that persists for more than 3 months.
Pain is one of the leading causes for disability in the United States. The total cost of pain are estimated at $635 billion per year. Includes nearly $100 billion annually from federal and state budgets. The worst part is that after all these expenditures, the treatments doesn’t fully alleviate American’s pain. Even though pain is one of the most common reasons patients consult a health care provider, it is often inadequately assessed and treated, resulting in needless suffering and poor patient outcomes.
There are many healthcare providers that are often part of the team helping patients live more pain-free lives. However, there are very few accredited pain specialists. The accredited pain specialists has completed an accredited fellowship via the American Board of Anesthesiology. As the demand for pain specialists has grown, many non-accredited, non-certified practitioners have entered the field. Many of those practitioners lacking a medical fellowship have opted for certification by the American Board of Pain Medicine which does not require postgraduate medical fellowship training and is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. While this is well known fact amongst pain experts, it is hardly known by most people and physicians within healthcare community and the general population.