The COST of Chronic Pain

The COST of Chronic Pain

This blog continues with the theme suggesting that sometimes apparent ‘experts’ themselves are misguided in knowing the best way to secure and strengthen health. The previous blog “Heart Surgeon Admits Huge Mistake” is one of many admissions which are likely to unfold as current health care models and budgets across the world are reassessed.

To date, health care systems have ironically been disease-based,  with a focus on treating and curing illness and disease. As a short-term solution this approach may have benefit, but it is nonetheless ‘reactive’ in nature. We can define ‘reactive’ as a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, where symptoms are ignored until they become acute or unbearable. The focus is to cure or treat the ailment, whereby the patient plays ‘victim’ and the physician plays ‘rescuer’. The following figures are taken from Australian Pain Summit hosted by the Australian Government that Simon and I attended on the weekend.

  • Did you know that chronic pain is the third most costly health problem in Australia?
  • 1 in 5 Australians suffer chronic pain such as back pain persisting after surgery or injury.
  • Less than 10% of the 3 million people in this group gain access to effective treatment, costing the economy $34 billion a year. This can also be calculated as $10, 847 per person affected.
  • 36.5 million working days are lost each year due to chronic pain.

That is certainly a high price for pain.

On the weekend Simon and I briefly went to a media launch of the “World-first National Pain Strategy” where there focus is to make sure that chronic pain is included on the national health agenda. While it is important to acknowledge how debilitating chronic pain is – much of the proposed strategy is a blend of reactive and preventative approaches to managing this new “disease.”

Over the last decade we have seen some federally funded health care directives being implemented, such as education programs for heart disease, cancer, and more recently, diabetes. While beneficial, these incentives are largely ‘preventative’ in nature, whereby an individual’s level of participation is largely driven by their level of fear of the consequences. As always, the ‘fear factor’ is a great motivator.

However, when we consider the epidemic figures for chronic illnesses, it is clear that neither ‘reactive’ nor ‘preventative’ approaches will sufficiently resolve this issue. We are over-doctored, over-medicated, and over-focused on the mystery of disease. We need to get back to the basics of health and investigate what rituals and practices may re-create and restore our health. From a grass roots level we need to move beyond prevention towards wellness.

Governments need to make obvious distinctions between ‘prevention’ and ‘wellness’ initiatives if we are to ever raise our health status. Governments need to embrace and promote proactive wellness lifestyle habits.

The American health care system is about to undergo significant change under the direction of the US Department of Health and Human Services. While the proposed changes are certainly positive, we will see in time whether their government leaders have fully understood the paradigm shift that is so needed.

According to President Barrack Obama “Much of the money we spend on healthcare  is lost to massive waste and inefficiency. The United States leads the world in healthcare expenditures, but one out of every four dollars is swallowed up by administrative costs. Each year, 100,000 Americans die because of medical errors, and we lose $100 billion because of prescription drug errors alone. Meanwhile, only four cents of every dollar spent on healthcare goes to prevention, while 29 other countries have a higher life expectancy and 38 other nations have lower infant mortality rates. And every year, insurers spend $50 billion a year figuring out how not to cover people. There’s an awful lot of waste and inefficiency in our system.”

He continues, “Devoting more of our healthcare funds to prevention will save tens of millions of dollars and improve millions of lives. As President, I will work with every sector of society—employers, school systems, community groups and families—to ensure that Americans have access to preventive care. I will require that all federally supported healthcare plans cover preventive services. And I will increase funding to expand community-based preventive interventions to help Americans make better choices to improve their health.”

If America takes further steps again to embrace a new paradigm, then they will be the new leader in health care.

President Barrack Obama made the following statement…

“Chiropractic care is low-cost, drug free,

non-invasive, and has been shown to

have a positive impact on patients’

health… My health plan prioritises

preventive care, and chiropractors play

a significant role in this effort. As we

shift our healthcare delivery system

towards a culture of wellness and disease

prevention, I believe that chiropractors

must play an integral role in expanding

access to preventive care and

strengthening our public health system.”

 

The Best Way To Secure Health Is Through Active Wellness!

We have seen through other blogs how experts within our current “sick-care” model do not really have the answers on how to secure health. We have also seen how the market for health-related products can be so readily manipulated, which in turn affects many of our current health care choices. Perhaps our best asset then is an active wellness lifestyle, guided by our individual knowledge and intuition.

A true wellness lifestyle differs from prevention and can be defined as “an active, lifelong process of becoming aware of choices and making decisions towards a more balanced and fulfilling life”.

These priorities enable us to function at our best and involve securing good health through quality nutrition, sleep and exercise, minimisation of toxins, reduction of stress, the maintenance of a well functioning nervous system, and positive, happy thoughts.

There are many holistic allied health professions which can guide and support your family. As parents, securing our family’s health through wellness habits is the greatest gift we can offer our children.
Wishing you and yours EXCEPTIONALLY good health!!

 

 

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