Eve Ruiz |
Seville (EFE).- Approaching in a multidisciplinary way by all the health professionals involved the treatment of intense chronic pain, something suffered by one in four people in Spain, is the way to improve patient care in a situation that ” it upsets my whole life.”
This has been assured to EFE by Dr. Luis Miguel Torres Morera, president of the Spanish Multidisciplinary Pain Society (SEMDOR) and coordinator of the III International Congress of this organization that brings together more than 400 experts from around the world in Seville until this Saturday. pain treatment.
“The most important thing is to have a global vision of pain,” argues Torres, who details that until now most scientific societies have focused on a specific aspect of healthcare, be it doctors, pharmacists or rehabilitators, focused on a problem “of public health” that he considers “of the first order”
After betting on joint work in all these areas, the doctor stresses that there are chronic diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension, which “with their medication allow a normal life, while with continuous pain you cannot work or have social relationships ”, he gives as an example.
He summarizes that in this appointment scientific knowledge is imparted and received “by all the health workers involved”, an interaction that, in his opinion, should be transferred to daily care to “shorten the path” to travel for all patients.
one year to go
Within this approach, Dr. Torres details that special importance is given to pharmacies, since “a patient goes to many doctors, whether they are traumatologists, anesthetists or physiotherapists, but goes to a single pharmacy to buy a medicine, so that pharmacy knows the patient very well”.
Along with this, the most important thing, in his opinion, is “to facilitate faster access to the Pain Unit”, since it takes more than a year to reach any of them. “A year with intense pain based on an analgesic is unbearable”, he emphasizes.
He explains that many of the patients feel that “they cannot get there, that no one sees them and that they are told that they cannot do anything. Those are the patients who are wandering around lost”, affirms the doctor, who is committed to establishing that these patients can be treated “in less than three months”.
“The current figures should move the authorities to dedicate more resources to chronic pain, which is no longer a symptom, it is a disease in itself,” says the doctor, who specifies that more funds be allocated to other ailments, such as stroke or a heart attack, because pain in itself is not the cause of death, although it “disrupts the whole of life”.
New technologies to relieve pain
The president of SEMDOR points out that nowadays pharmacology is advancing “slowly” and it is difficult to find new remedies for chronic pain suffered by one in four people in Spain but, on the contrary, what is being developed in this area is the new technology for the treatment of symptoms.
He gives as an example everything from the laser used in a herniated disc to neuromodulation in the spinal cord or infusion pumps to administer medications, as well as formulas to be able to use old drugs, such as skin patches or “nanopills” in the mouth.
The doctor reviews that, according to a study by the University of Cádiz, in Spain the prevalence of severe pain has risen from 19% before the pandemic to 25% in three years, something that “can only be explained by the damage caused by the covid as a disease in itself and for not being able to leave the house, sunbathe or exercise ”.
“There has been a very significant deterioration in the field of pain for this reason and the response of the administrations is behind the problem,” says the specialist, who believes that more than double the current pain units are necessary, amounting to about 300 in all the country.
He acknowledges that “there are situations that cannot be cured, but the knowledge we have so far would allow everyone to alleviate their situation, and it is not the reality due to lack of means,” he regrets, while criticizing the lack of a National Plan against Pain and that the autonomous communities elaborate “17 different regulations”.