BackAche-th2-120x150Pain Management for Acute and Chronic Pain

The American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM) is the medical specialty representing physicians practicing in the field of Pain Medicine. As a medical specialty society, the Academy is involved in education, training, advocacy, and research in the specialty of Pain Medicine.

The practice of Pain Medicine is multi-disciplinary in approach, incorporating modalities from various specialties to ensure the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of the pain patient. AAPM represents the diverse scope of the field through membership from a variety of origins, including such specialties as rehabilitation medicine, anesthesiology, internal medicine, neurology, neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, and psychiatry.

Chronic Pain and Depression: A Terrible Twosome

If you have chronic pain and depression, you’ve got plenty of company. That’s because chronic pain and depression are common problems that often overlap. Depression is one of the most common psychological issues facing people who suffer from chronic pain, and it often complicates the patient’s condition and treatment. Consider these statistics:

According to the American Pain Foundation, about 32 million people in the U.S. report pain lasting longer than one year.  More than half of the patients who complain of pain to their doctors are depressed. On average, 65% of people who are depressed also complain of pain.  People whose pain limits their independence are especially likely to get depressed.  Because depression in patients with chronic pain frequently goes undiagnosed, it often goes untreated. Pain symptoms and complaints take center stage on most doctors’ visits. The result is depression, along with sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, lack of energy, and decreased physical activity — all of which may make pain much worse.

“Chronic pain and depression go hand in hand,” says Steven Feinberg, MD, adjunct associate clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. “You almost have to assume a person with chronic pain is depressed and begin there.”

Dr. Sniezek is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management.