Significant pain affects many of us. In fact, at one or more points in their lives, about 45% of Americans will experience such persistent pain that they will seek treatment. Pain is the most frequent reason medical care is sought and the number one cause of lost productivity in the workplace, costing employers $80 billion every year. What cannot be measured is the suffering experienced by people in pain.

Because pain is such an overriding issue, Congress declared 2001 to 2010 as the Decade of Pain Control and Research, bringing to the forefront the need to manage this debilitating condition. Significantly, in 2001 the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) mandated that the health care provider of a patient in pain has the obligation to assess it seriously (for example, by asking how severe it is on a scale of 0 to 10) and to create a plan to manage it as safely and effectively as possible.

The standards particularly address how pain can be managed among hospital or other care facility patients who may not be able to communicate well about their levels of pain. The JCAHO standards also focus on pain’s complex nature and suggest that both providers and patients need education to help understand it better.

As physical therapists, we have long been aware that pain can be a major complication in a patient’s life. While it can be a great challenge to treat, pain must be addressed systematically and professionally.

No matter the source of your pain—a back injury, a sports-overuse issue or even an unknown incident that has resulted in chronic discomfort somewhere in your body—we have been trained in compassionate, effective pain management. We can assess your individual situation and devise an exercise regimen to improve your quality of life. Talk with us today about setting up a course of treatment to relieve or help manage your pain.