Chronic pain sufferers are no strangers to isolation and loneliness. Pain itself is isolating. In the moments pain effects the body, the person suffering feels separated from the rest of the world. Friendships, work life, activities, and even basic tasks like cooking, cleaning the house, and showering can become challenging. There is a sense that no one can understand the experience of the pain, and the overwhelming effects are feelings of loneliness and despair.
The following is the movie trailer for The Painful Truth, a PBS documentary. The film was co-produced by Craig Worth and Dr. Lynn Webster, M.D., a leading pain management expert. The complete film can be viewed on the PBS Montana website.
“What happens when lives are dramatically torn apart by chronic pain?
The Painful Truth takes us behind the headlines of addiction and beyond the controversies of the war on opioids – an intimate view of patients’ frustrations, setbacks, and goals as they deal with chronic pain. We hear patients tell us their stories … and we understand the social barriers and prejudices they face every day.”
Nearly 50 million American adults have significant chronic pain or severe pain, according to a recent study by NIH. Pain is subjective, and therefore each person’s experience is likely to be different. There are a variety of conditions that can cause chronic pain, and each person experiences these conditions in a different way, given their unique physical and psychological characteristics. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, neuropathy, and headaches, although given the same name, can have very different presentations. The reality is that these conditions are actually signs of an underlying health problem or medical condition. Chronic pain is a symptom, the way that the body tries to bring attention to an underlying problem. The goal of conventional treatments (like ‘painkiller’ medications including prescription opioids) is to get rid of the pain, but in doing so these medicines mask the root cause of the pain, often causing the pain to become even worse. It is essential to find the root cause of the pain and work to correct the underlying causes of in the body.
Dr. Stacy Livingwell uses an integrative and alternative approach to chronic pain treatment. She uses functional medicine and a holistic approach to help you find the root causes of your illness, instead of just treating your symptoms. This means searching for underlying triggers contributing to your chronic pain, and treating the “whole person”, not just the pain. Dr. Stacy will take the time to get to know your life story and personalize treatment to your specific needs as an individual.
If you suffer from chronic pain, and have questions about your symptoms, condition, and possible treatment options, please contact us at Livingwell Preventive Medicine.