The physicians at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute clinics treat thousands of people suffering from chronic pain every year. It's not unusual for patients to put off seeing a physician for their pain. The reasons for their delay are sometimes based on commonly held misconceptions. We have compiled a list of pain management myths our physicians hear on a normal basis. Hopefully busting these myths will ensure that no one lives with unnecessary pain or receives an incomplete pain treatment plan again.
All doctors are qualified to treat pain.
MYTH - When it comes to treating pain not all doctors are equal. It takes years of specialized training to be able to effectively analyze, diagnose, and treat a patient experiencing chronic pain. In some cases it even requires further specialization to treat pain. When the pain is caused by a rheumatic diseases, like arthritis, or autoimmune diseases, like lupus, a rheumatologist is needed to treat both the pain and the underlying condition.
Getting pain treatments means you're weak.
MYTH - Admitting you are in pain and getting treated can be scary. It means you don't know what is causing the pain and that you are turning over your pain relief treatment to someone else. It actually takes a great deal of courage to seek out medical treatment for your pain.
You'll probably get addicted to pain medication.
MYTH - The well publicized stories of celebrities, like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Jackson, becoming addicted to their pain drugs makes it seem like everyone gets addicted to their prescription pain medication. While it is true that some people get addicted to certain types of painkillers, the actual occurrence of addiction to pain medication is very low. If you are worried about becoming addicted, or have a family history of addiction, let you rheumatologist know so that they can take your concerns into account when deciding on how to treat your pain.