More than one-third of people with an acute, chronic or chronic pain condition will require medical intervention to manage their pain, according to research from the National Institute of Health.
Physicians at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center (NIMH), along with colleagues from several other institutions, have identified three key challenges that could be addressed with an integrated approach to physical health care.
They include improving the quality and quantity of physical activities; providing access to quality physical education and exercise; and improving access to a range of quality preventive and rehabilitative care.
The researchers identified these challenges in a survey of more than 1,000 people aged between 18 and 75 who had a chronic or acute pain condition, including pain associated with an injury, stroke or cancer.
The survey was conducted in 2017 and included more than 100,000 respondents.
The key findings of the survey are:In the past year, more than 10% of respondents had at least one chronic pain disorder, and more than half had at some point experienced pain associated the use of drugs, such as opioid painkillers.
More than 60% of people in the study reported having at least three chronic pain conditions, including at least two of the following:Dental, osteoarthritis, or arthritis; and a number of conditions related to cancer, including chronic lung disease, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, multiple myeloma and multiple myotonic dystrophy.
The survey also revealed that nearly three quarters of people aged 60 and over reported a chronic pain-related disability, including a disability related to pain, sleep disturbance, obesity, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and diabetes.
It is important to recognize that there are a wide range of physical conditions, some of which may be more common than others.
For example, older adults are more likely to have higher rates of osteoarcres, and older people are more than twice as likely to suffer from diabetes.
The research also highlighted the fact that physical conditions often require different treatments.
In particular, many people with acute or chronic conditions may not require surgery, for example, and may instead benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
In addition, people with multiple chronic conditions often benefit from rehabilitation, such that rehabilitation can improve the overall quality of life and help people with their chronic pain and other health conditions.
There are also several key differences in physical conditions between older adults and younger adults.
Younger adults have greater levels of physical activity and are more often able to take part in physical activity at home, compared to older adults.
Older adults have lower levels of smoking and are less likely to be overweight.
As for pain, older people experience more pain, and are at increased risk of developing chronic pain.
Physical health care needs to be more inclusive and tailored to the unique needs of people.
The study also highlights the need for an integrated physical health service, as well as the need to develop a comprehensive physical education curriculum and develop a holistic approach to the delivery of physical care.
Dr. Anupam Dutta, co-author of the report and professor of medicine at UCSF, said: “Physical health professionals and researchers need to look beyond the simple health care delivery model and to understand how physical health and wellbeing can be achieved with a holistic, integrated approach that addresses the diverse needs of each patient.”
Dr. Michael T. Littman, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, added: “We need to address the myriad of physical and mental health challenges and disorders of our society and in the process we must address the underlying causes of these problems, and develop ways to prevent and treat them.”
This study provides the most comprehensive and rigorous evidence-based evidence-base for the prevention of chronic pain since the publication of the Pain Report in the 1970s.
The findings have profound implications for physical health providers and care providers across the country.
We must take a more holistic approach and address the needs of everyone, regardless of their physical condition, as the next wave of medical innovation begins.
“About UCSF School of Medicine and Biomedical SciencesThis research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants R01AG043875 and R01AR021687) and the National Cancer Institute (grant CA191054, R01CA054085).