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Pain: When the professional becomes personal

3199296759_e5130dc6c1_zFor 10 long months, Philip Pizzo, MD, suffered from incapacitating nerve pain. Even worse, top medical experts were stumped. He describes his ordeal in a recent essay in STAT News:

I tried everything — medication, physical therapy, deep-tissue massage, acupuncture — but nothing worked. Magnetic resonance imaging of my spine, hip, and pelvis didn’t show anything suspicious.

As a physician, a former dean of the School of Medicine, and chair of an Institute of Medicine panel on pain, Pizzo had known intellectually about the problem of chronic pain. Now he had experienced its unremitting intensity firsthand.

His pain was relieved by an unusual diagnosis and surgery, but Pizzo knows many others aren't as fortunate.

"Nearly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. We need to do more for them," he writes.

Previously: Laughing through the pain: A comedy writer's experience with chronic illness, "People are looking for better answers": A conversation about chronic pain and  Study: Effects of chronic pain on relationships can lead to emotional distress
Photo by Kevin Dooley

 

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