The Medical Establishment
and Chronic Pain

by: Dr. Mitchell Yass

In a NY Times article called “Giving Chronic Pain a Medical Platform Of Its Own”, a report from the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, was discussed. It was noted that chronic pain is estimated to affect 116 million American adults. This number is more than those suffering from heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined.

A striking point to me was that they noted that “Chronic pain often goes untreated because most doctors haven’t been trained to understand it”. This is a very bizarre statement I thought. It is one thing to say that doctors don’t understand the cause of pain based on all the statistics.

For instance, The American College of Physicians noted that in 85% of cases of patients coming to primary care for back pain, their pain could not be attributed to a spinal abnormality, such as a herniated disc, arthritis, stenosis, etc. And yet, when someone has back pain, an MRI is performed, a positive finding of a herniated disc, arthritis or stenosis is identified and this becomes the diagnosis with every treatment focused on the spinal abnormality. This is the very spinal abnormality that in 85% of cases could not be attributed to the patient’s pain.

There have been studies about surgeries to resolve knee pain due to arthritis and back pain from spinal fractures in which there was no improvement in results whether the subject got the real surgery or whether they got a mock surgery. The failure rate for neck and back surgeries has now reached about 60%. Studies have shown that 63% of those with knee pain have meniscal tears and those without pain, 60% have meniscal tears.

It is not chronic pain that physicians are not trained in. It is in the ability to diagnose the cause of pain that they are not trained in.

Another interesting comment; “Among the important findings in the Institute Of Medicine report is that chronic pain often outlasts the original illness or injury, causing changes in the nervous system that worsen over time. Doctors often cannot find an underlying cause because there isn’t one. Chronic pain becomes its own disease”. This is a horrifying conclusion.

They say the pain outlasts the illness or injury because in their distorted minds, they fixed the injury with a surgery to a herniated disc, stenosis, scoliosis, meniscal tear or rotator cuff. As far as their concerned, they fixed the cause of the pain. So there could only be one reason for continued pain. The pain has now become its own entity. This is the most illogical conclusion based on all the evidence.

Finally they note, “When pain becomes chronic, when it becomes persistent even after the tissue and injury have healed, then people are suffering from chronic pain,” Dr. Mackey said. “We’re finding that there are significant changes in the central nervous system and spinal cord that cause pain to become amplified and persistent after the injury has gone away”. If you suffer from chronic pain, you should be very frightened by this conclusion. There will no longer be attempt to understand what is causing your chronic pain if they follow this thought process. They will simply try to come up with another drug to mask your pain or who knows, maybe mind control is next.

Read more articles by Mitchell Yass, P.T.

Back Pain > Doctor Directory > Mitchell Yass > The Medical Establishment and Chronic Pain