As a necessity, when we live with chronic pain, we have to maintain a close relationship with our doctors. We need their help to both find the source and to provide treatment that can alleviate it. However, there are times when the care of a doctor simply isn’t enough. Those living with chronic pain have to be willing to stand up for themselves and to look for alternatives that can supplement or even replace their care at times.
Chronic pain isn’t taken seriously enough
Though it might be one of the things most commonly on your mind, there is a disturbing rise in cases where people with chronic pain don’t have their condition taken seriously. In particular, more people are having difficulty finding doctors to treat them. If you live with chronic pain, you’re likely already aware of the hesitance with which doctors prescribe painkillers, specifically opioids. However, the studies show that more doctors are refusing to even see or trait patients with chronic pain. This is, in part, an overreaction to fears of prosecution for acting as a “pain doctor”, but it highlights the need to look into alternatives.
What happens when a doctor fails their patient?
In their hesitance to treat using painkillers, more doctors focus instead on surgical procedures or other pain treatments. While the risk of opioid dependency is always an issue, there’s also the risk that something goes wrong during your treatment or that your condition is misdiagnosed and mistreated by a doctor. In that event, a medical malpractice lawyer can help you see some justice, as well as some compensation. All the same, it’s a state of affairs that is making more people with chronic pain afraid to trust their doctors with their treatment. Seeking a second opinion or changing doctors can only see you met with more skepticism.
They may be just part of the team you need to better manage your condition
There is some evidence, however, that doctors are more willing to work with patients that have tried other forms of wellness treatment and therapy for their chronic pain. Other care providers, like physiotherapists, can help you tackle physical pain from a different angle, aiming directly at the source. There is a range of pain management techniques you can try, for the sake of fair treatment and doctor/patient trust, you should. Your doctors may still be under strict instructions when it comes to prescribing opioids, but if you are serious about how you both document and attempt to manage your pain, you are more likely to get serious treatment and attention from your doctor as well.
Clearly, the answer isn’t that people living with chronic pain have to shun their doctors. However, they have to be willing to recognize when a prescribed treatment is worsening their condition or that there are other providers of care who can help just as much if not more. For that reason, we have to be mindful of our own care and condition and do what we can to research all the options available.
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