Chronic Pain in Women


I think chronic pain is misunderstood in our culture and somewhat ambiguous by definition. Chronic pain is long term pain at different or multiple spots throughout the body that does not go away and with generally unknown causes and hard to treat symptoms. I feel like chronic pain in today’s medical community is much more legitimized than it was a decade or more ago. Doctors seem more eager to listen to patients, especially women, when it comes to describing the type of chronic pain they feel. In the chronic muscular pain article by Werner, she states that ‘according to many studies done over the past decade women who suffer from chronic muscular pain such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome have reported negative experiences during medical encounters. They repeatedly find themselves being questioned and judged either to not be ill, have an imaginary illness or labeled with a psychiatric condition.”

I feel like trying to treat an illness that is difficult to pinpoint the cause of is an absurdly difficult task. In the Fibromyalgia and Type A personality blog, Edie talks about all the different types of medicines and treatments she uses like the anti-anxiety drugs, anti-inflammatories, nasal sprays, acid reducers, and rash creams. All of which provide temporary relief some just a few hours while others can help through the night. Like I just said these provide only temporary relief and the symptoms usually come back within hours or the following day.

I believe there is a huge connection between belief and healing.  After watching the Placebo film, I know that the mind may be the ultimate deciding factor whether or not a person will be healed or overcome an illness. Firmly believing that you can and will get better after a certain medicine is taken or procedure done , even if they have no healing attributes, is just as important  as actually receiving non placebo treatment.  The placebo film also showed the knee surgery patients and the placebo group who didn’t actually undergo any surgery both resulted in improvement of knee function and pain. Just by simply believing they were getting the knee surgery and that it would alleviate the pain, the placebo group was able to have similar results as those who actually underwent the surgery. The mind it seems has the ultimate healing power.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Cherie Griffey says:

    Reading your post about chronic pain was nice. Chronic pain according to you is defined as “long term pain at different or multiple spots throughout the body that does not go away and with generally unknown causes and hard to treat symptoms”. I found it very interesting how you start out with how the doctors said that most chronic pain in women are imaginary illnesses or a psychiatric condition. That part upset me because how is the doctor going to tell someone that they have an imaginary illness. They are not in that person’s body and they cannot feel that pain, if a woman decides to go to you and she trust you with this information and is seeking your help how are you going to tell someone that the pain they are feeling is imaginary or psychiatric. I agree it is very difficult to treating an illness but they should try a little harder. Temporary relief with medicines is not helping the patients because they then become addicted to these medicines and some feel as if they need them in order to survive. I agree with the connection between belief and healing, the Placebo film was a good example but this one may be a little difficult.

  2. Valencia Smith says:

    When I think about chronic pain, the fact that there is not much information on the illness is the first thing that comes to mind. I feel like there needs to be a lot more research done on the subject to pin point the cause and continuation of this illness. That will be the first step on finding ways to help patients, not only women deal with chronic pain.

    I have no doubt about chronic pain being an illness because there have been cases reported about it. Previous injuries also come to mind when thinking about chronic pain because in some cases, those areas that have the pain have sustained previous injuries and may not have heal completely or properly.

    Medication has always been a temporary solution but not a permanent one. Just like you talk about, it doesn’t benefit the patient long term.

    Influence of these ideas of chronic pain can come from personal experiences or just simply knowing about the research done on the topic. I personally don’t know anyone that experiences diagnosed chronic pain, but I’m sure many people do. It’s simply best to make sure that people are educated on the illness and find the best possible care for it.

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