Why Can't you believe me?
Written by: Cesar A. Euribe M.D.
Pain has only been considered more then just a symptom for the past 30-40 years. During this time we have been able to learn and discover many amazing things. Scientists began to identify how many pain conditions were actually unrelated to the cause of pain initially. They also have identified how our bodies neurological pain pathways are different than the sensory pathways physicians have always considered the same. Pain was thought to be the over-stimulation of the sense of touch and traveled to our brain by using the same nerves as touch. We recently discovered the multiple opioid receptors we have which when activated they produce profound pain relief. Since they also induce the release of the most powerful "pleasure" producing substances in our brain, they can be highly addictive. "They are like the good, the bad, and the ugly".The study of pain is still in its early phases. We have learned and understand a lot more, however, we are like the treatment of diabetes was at it’s early beginnings. People have been aware of diabetes for thousands of years but it took ages to discover how to completely treat it as we do today.
Unfortunately, scientists have not discovered tools to measure or document pain as of yet. Pain Management physician's have to simply accept the patient’s description of pain and believe it as true and accurate. The patients explanation of how much pain they are in or if the patient is even in pain, becomes a pure act of faith. Therefor, as any subjective situation in medicine it becomes complicated and for the “pure scientists” find this fact difficult to accept. Because of the medications we use it also lends itself to manipulation and lies of the part of a few.
WE IN PAIN CARE WANT TO BELIEVE IN ALL OUR PATIENTS’ COMPLAINT OF PAIN, but because of the bad apples who complain mainly for secondary gain (like money, work, etc.) we are forced into questionable doubt.
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