Prescriptions, Technology, and Pain

This blog post features a few different articles about dealing with pain via the science of pharmacology and new technologies. Prescribing painkillers is a common practice in dealing with chronic pain, but it can have serious and unfortunate consequences including addiction and death. The fact remains that painkillers only mask the symptoms and do nothing to ultimately heal those suffering from chronic pain. Along with this science, new technologies are helping to create better understandings in how to properly prescribe medication to patients that truly need it, as well as how to better interpret each individual patient's pain to provide more efficient treatment.
 
It is IT Work's belief that while it is sometimes necessary to prescribe these dangerous painkillers, the most important thing is to actually treat the problem so that patient's can decrease or stop their use of these drugs. Using out unique integrate approach, we diligently work with our patient's to make their use of these painkillers a thing of the past. By not actually treating the problem, physicians are essentially adding to the opioid epidemic. This first article asks if patient-physician trust could be partly to blame for the rise in opioid addiction. While it is difficult to question the bond between patient and doctor, perhaps there are a few that are a little to trusting. Is it worth it for doctors to become a little more critical of their patients? Read the article here.
 
If too trusting doctors are partly to blame for patient dependency on opioids, what happens to doctors that are seemingly over-prescribing these medications? Pain and its treatment is not an exact science and what works for one patient may not work for another, even if they have similar problems. Because of this, it is hard to define how much medication is too much medication and where to draw the line between appropriate usage and addiction. This article examines a case in which a group of physicians were being accused of over-prescribing in order to enable patients drug addictions. Read the article here.
 
Pain is not an exact science, nor is the act of prescribing medications to patients. Pharmacogenetics is a branch of pharmacology that focuses on how medications are differently metabolized by the body via the examination of one's genetics. In examining various factors, pharmacogenetics can help us to develop a better understanding of individual so that doctors can more adequately prescribe them medication. While it has yet to expand into the treatment of chronic pain, it seems that it could help to potentially decrease the prescribing of and dependency on opioid-based painkillers. Read the article here.
 
The following article discusses a new technology that could help doctors better interpret pain in their patients using a facial recognition software. Instead of the archaic 1-10 scaled system, this software would use images of the patient's face to better read their level of pain. Initially the software is being targeted towards children and those that can't or have difficulties verbally communicating. Read the article here.
 
This article is not focused necessarily so much on technology but on research. According to new research, we can learn a lot about pain by examining those that do not experience any. By studying these individuals we can potentially create new chronic pain treatments or prefect existing chronic pain treatments. Read the article here.