If you’re suffering from chronic pain, you’re hardly alone. It’s something that impacts millions of Canadians — in fact, the number is estimated to be at one in five. Though chronic pain is often best treated by a pain specialist, your pain is likely to continue while you wait — and wait. Patient wait times for pain specialists in Canada are often more than a year, and that’s if you’re fortunate enough to live close to one of Canada’s publicly funded pain clinics. Patients in many parts of the country unfortunately do not have adequate access to pain care.
Chronic pain is more than just a physical ailment, too. It is often linked to depression, putting stress on relationships and on sufferers’ abilities to lead normal lives. Attempts to treat pain with medication can be difficult, as many prescription-strength pain medications can be addictive, despite pharmaceutical companies’ attempts to curb potential abuses. A more unexpected place than chronic pain hurts, however, is the wallet. The Canadian Pain Society estimates that chronic pain costs the country billions of dollars per year, including not just health care costs but also lost wages, depressed productivity, and social costs.
In some cases, chronic pain can be traced to a specific incident, like an illness or injury, or to risk factors such as the patient’s age. In other cases however the roots of pain can be more mysterious, and though it is often assumed that chronic pain is an “old age” problem, it can strike the young as well.
Though efforts are being made to increase training in pain treatment for Canadian medical students and to provide additional support for doctors in more remote areas of the provinces, access to pain treatment remains difficult for many Canadians.
If you are experiencing chronic back pain, joint pain, foot pain, or nerve pain, the doctors just across the border at the Spine Institute Northwest may be able to help — with virtually no wait time, and free concierge service to help arrange your travel. Call us today at 888-712-0318 to learn more about the services we provide and find out whether our physicians may be able to help relieve your pain.