At some point or another we all confront some sort of pain. Pain is necessary. We need it to alert us that something is wrong, but when acute pain turns to chronic pain, everything changes. So we need the pain, but not so much of it.
That’s the territory Dr Dan Gottlieb explores in this Voices in the Family special. To take a look at our complex relationship with chronic pain, he invited psychologist Dr. Brenda Byrne who has been practicing for over 30 years. Originally with the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Program, Byrne now treats people with both sleep disorders and pain. She is a longtime board member of the Greater Philadelphia Pain Society and is its recent past president. And Dr Michael Sabia, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and the Division Head of Pain Management and the Pain Medicine Fellowship director at Cooper University Health care.
Chronic pain affects nearly twice as many people as diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined! But statistics don’t begin to address the human side of pain. Pain isolates and affects social and familial relationships, quality of life and puts us at increased risk for depression and suicide.
So what can be done? Sure there’s medication, but some of those come with significant side effects. In this conversation, Dr. Gottlieb and his guests say that there is plenty that can be done to both diminish and learn to live with chronic pain.