LONG ISLAND, NY – We’ve all had to endure pain at one time or another; it’s one of the constants of being a human being, albeit an unpleasant one. However, there’s a huge difference between the temporary discomfort typically associated with stubbing your toe or skinning a knee and the deep, aching, reoccurring malady known as chronic pain; pain that can adversely affect your overall quality of life until your dying day, if not dealt with properly.
Thankfully, assistance is available for those looking not only to cope with chronic pain, but eventually overcome it once and for all.
The Massapequa Library recently hosted Mary Milano Carter, a speaker from the North American Partners in Pain Management (NAPPM). Carter conducted a seminar – a part of an ongoing series – centered on chronic pain; not notably, how to advocate for yourself as it pertains to acquiring needed medical treatment to address your specific set of pain circumstances.
“NAPPM does regular seminars to get the word out about pain management,and there are so many people who are in pain,” she said. “The number of people who live with chronic or acute pain is astounding, and we do what we can to help them get better and back to normal functioning.”
When you look at the numbers, chronic pain in American is reaching epidemic levels; currently, 75+ million individuals deal with this issue…some from pre-existing or naturally occurring conditions, and some as a result of the after effects of an injury or a medical procedure. But no matter what the cause, living with daily pain can be debilitating – both physically and mentally – and Carter noted that the goal of her seminar was to clue in the public on how to best manage and eventually overcome pain in order to live a fruitful and happy life.
“First of all, we discuss the matters that your doctor will inquire about when you go and see them, so that the patient will know how to properly convey their issues to them and, in turn, receive the proper medical treatment that will alleviate their symptoms,” she said. “There are a number of groups on Long Island that deal with managing pain…many people are unaware of how much support there is out there for those who need it, and that’s another aspect that I touch upon with my seminars. These groups can help someone through a number of methods that don’t involve going under the knife, such as medication, nerve blocks, electric stimulation implants, epidural injections, and more. It’s important to know your options before undergoing something more invasive.”
A common misconception in our society is that pain is just a common component of the aging process, but nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, due to breakthroughs in medical science, people are living longer than ever, and as a result pain management is needed more than ever to ensure that our aging population doesn’t experience a dip in their quality of life. Indeed, with the right approach, people can not only live longer, but better as well. But another thing to consider when it comes to chronic pain is that it’s no merely the realm of the aged; more and more, people in their 20’s and 30’s are reporting issues as well, and having the right information to combat pain is just as important for younger people as it is for the elderly, Carter said.
“No matter what your age, we can help you find out the best course of treatment for your individual problems,” she said. “Life is best lived pain-free.”
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