How To Live With Chronic Pain

man red joint pain(BlackDoctor.org) — If you, like millions of other Americans, live with chronic pain, you are certainly not alone. Some studies have demonstrated that pain is widely undertreated by American doctors, and pain has a far-reaching impact on the life of any individual who must endure it.

Acute Pain: A Common Denominator

Most of us know what acute and sudden pain feels like. Perhaps you’ve broken your wrist while hiking, sprained an ankle on the tennis court, stepped on a nail, or had a heart attack from which you recovered. Pain is simply a series of neural signals that let us know that something has gone wrong and an injury has occurred to the body. Thanks to pain signals, we are instantly alerted to remove our hand from the hot stove or rush to treat that unexpected bee sting.

Chronic Pain: More Common Than We Know

Sometimes, acute pain can become chronic, like an acute spinal injury that causes a cascade of musculoskeletal and neurological problems that eventually lead to pain that cannot be relieved. Many forms of chronic pain develop insidiously over time, and an occasional uncomfortable physical nuisance gradually transforms into a life-altering condition.
Millions of Americans live with chronic pain caused by spinal injuries, fibromyalgia, arthritis and other illnesses that they did not bring on themselves through any action of their own, but with which they must live for many years with little relief.

Chronic pain has an economic impact on the person who suffers from the condition, but also on families, caregivers, employers, as well as the larger economy. Chronic pain cuts across socioeconomic and racial boundaries, and individuals from all walks of life suffer its ravages, both mental and physical. While those blessed enough to have health insurance can go to great lengths to seek relief from their suffering, there are countless uninsured Americans for whom relief is much more difficult to come by. Some spend thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses on both mainstream and alternative health care in search of alleviation of their suffering, and some individuals and families can be bankrupted by this exhausting effort, even as they are denied health insurance based on a pre-existing condition—chronic pain.

Suffering in Silence

When you see an individual in a wheelchair, using an oxygen tank, or walking down the street with an assistance dog, you immediately make the assumption that that person has a disability, even if you cannot determine the source or nature of their particular condition based on the evidence at hand. Still, that individual’s disabled status is assured in your mind, and you file that information for future reference.

However, there are many people walking alongside you on the sidewalk or standing in line at the bank who suffer from chronic pain, a most invisible yet frequently devastating form of illness.

For those unable to afford medical care, health insurance, symptom management and official acknowledgement of their condition, their chronic pain may be a cross that they bear in silence, even when it is debilitating in nature. This is like a cruel joke, an irony beyond imagination, and many individuals hold down jobs and still support their families despite overwhelming odds.

Remember

Chronic pain is often a silent and devastating fact of life. It affects Americans of all stripes, and its impact is emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual and economical in scope. Chronic pain is epidemic, often under-diagnosed and untreated, and, like any other condition, requires compassion, understanding and support.

If you or someone you love lives with chronic pain, remember that its treatment can be difficult, and the impact of chronic pain can be universally overwhelming and deleterious to the overall quality of life. Compassion indeed goes a long way, and that compassion can often be the lifeline that can even momentarily relieve the suffering of a grateful person in need.

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The Beautiful Woman Inside & Out Conference

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Beautiful Women

(BlackDoctor.org) — What does it really take to be your best you?

Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey, nationally recognized speaker, author, health advocate and executive director of the COSHAR Foundation, understands the complexities of Black women, both the external, and internal, motivators; that’s why she, The COSHAR Foundation and its partners are embarking on a truly unique initiative that focuses on today’s woman in a way that no one has done before.

What? On March 19, 2011, The COSHAR Foundation will host a day-long, high energy conferene celebrating Black women. The event will feature leading experts, including dermatologists, primary care physicians, plastic surgeons, weight loss/bariatric surgeons, fashion experts, aestheticians, celebrity makeup artists, fitness and nutrition experts, mental health specialists and celebrity hair stylists. All of these experts will share the same platform – and women will NEVER be the same!

Why? To ignore the innate desire of women to feel and LOOK their best is not beneficial. The COSHAR Foundation believes that we must address women’s issues from a holistic standpoint and not negate the interest that she has in fashion/beauty, but rather use it as a motivator to better health/wellness on the “inside and out”. How do we know that women are “motivated” by the health/beauty industry? It is estimated that Black women spend $80 billion a year on cosmetics and fashion and $7.5 billion annually on beauty products – which is 80 percent more than the general market.

There’s more! The event will also treat attendees to luxurious door prizes and raffle items, breakfast and lunch, entertainment and lots of surprises.

A Wellness Gala: “This event is essentially a ‘gala’ of health/wellness and beauty for women,” said Dr. Allison-Ottey. “We are well aware of the health disparities that plague all women, and particularly women of color. There are horror stories of women risking their lives with questionable medical procedures in search of the fountain of youth. Our objective is to dispel myths, give women the tools to enhance both their physical health and appearance and address the ‘whole” woman, and empower that woman to live her BEST life.

This is just the beginning! The conference on March 19 will launch a national wellness program, with future events to be hosted in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Charlotte and Chicago. Visit the website at www.beautifulwomaninsideandout.com to register (pre-registration is required) and to nominate a woman (self nominations allowed) for a “Head to Toe” makeover.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to fight breast cancer and domestic violence.

Event Details:

• Event: The Beautiful Woman Inside and Out event

• Hosted by: The COSHAR Foundation & Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey, MD
Phone: (301) 773-4811, Email: [email protected]/[email protected]

• Date: March 19, 2011

• Time: 8am-5pm

• Location: Camelot by Martins, 13901 Central Avenue, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

• Website: www.beautifulwomaninsideandout.com

*Registration is required*

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