Chancellor's Check-Up: Chronic Pain - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/9/04

Chancellor's Check-Up: Chronic Pain

For some people, treating pain means a lot more than taking an aspirin and getting rest. More and more Americans are experiencing chronic pain. Dr. David Smith, Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, tells us that chronic pain is treatable.

Chronic pain can be debilitating for some patients. At the Texas Tech International Pain Institute, new research and technology is helping treat patients from around the globe. World renowned professor and director of the institute, Dr. Gabor Racz, explains how treating chronic pain has become a speciality.

"Most of the time, 95% of the pain when you have it goes away by itself. Then, you have some that respond to medication, so it's only a small percentage of the population that ends up in pain that exist beyond the three to four, five, six month time span," explains Dr. Racz.

With new treatments, surgery and a series of medications have become a last resort. Therapies, which may include injections to a patient's exact source of pain, are keeping patients free of pain for a longer amount of time.

"Our mission is to get people back to living, functional restoration and address the pain and not just by drugs and medications because they do not solve the problem," adds the doctor.

Current pain research allows health care professionals the opportunity to create treatments that are designed in the best interest of each patient. There is new data that suggest to use some minimally invasive techniques can be very effective those suffering with chronic pain. Patients suffering from chronic pain should discuss all treatment options with their primary health care provider.

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