Specialists estimate that as many as 60 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and approximately 20 percent of the population in most developed countries reports having chronic pain.
According to one study, chronic back pain alone afflicts more than four million Americans, and nearly 50 percent of these are disabled by it.
Pain is the most frequent cause of disability in the United States, with as many as 50 million Americans on short- or long-term disability leave from work at any one time.
As these figures suggest, chronic pain is extremely difficult to treat successfully-it is a complex and baffling phenomenon, poorly understood even in the medical centers devoted to its diagnosis and treatment. In Heal the Pain, Comfort the Spirit Dorene O'Hara, an anesthesiologist with extensive training in pain management and clinical pharmacology, explores treatment techniques developed over many years of studying, treating, and lecturing on chronic pain.
She also examines the important contributions made by other clinical professionals and by practitioners of alternative medicine. Combining a general survey of the forms of pain therapy with suggestions for how patients can find the most appropriate treatment plan for themselves, Heal the Pain, Comfort the Spirit provides needed answers for pain sufferers as well as practitioners.