Living with Chronic Daily Pain

A Philosophy Focus Statement

Living with chronic pain can be a lifelong challenge.  Staying functional and comfortable for many years after diagnosis of certain pain conditions requires paying attention to details and staying on track in a pain management program.

 

Keeping chronic pain under control is critical because excessive levels of pain can impair our ability to carry out activities of daily living, setting the stage for loss of normal daily function, heightened depression and anxiety, more dependence on those around us, and a general sense of loss of self esteem.  Quality of life is impaired when we can no longer do the everyday tasks such as working, taking care of the family, and recreating.

 

The good news, however, is that pain physicians today know more about how to diagnose and treat pain to minimize or prevent these quality of life issues.  As a result, more people with chronic pain are keeping their jobs and traveling all over the country, goals that were impossible for many in the past.  A multidisciplinary integrative pain care plan is the key to successful management.  As a board-certified pain management specialist and practicing physician for over twenty-five years on Long Island, and a certified pain educator through the American Society of Pain Educators, I eventually created a pain management program and am writing a book for America called, the Pain is the PITS: A Pain Management Program to Answer America’s Opioid Crisis.  The key is the P-I-T-S Acronym, which teaches both an assessment and treatment of pain.  First comes an assessment of a patient’s pain and how it affects their life: P- Physical Function, I-Intensity of Pain, T-Thoughts and Behaviors, and S-Social Interactions; then, the PITS Program starts treatment options utilizing: P-pills (medications), I-injections, T-therapy, and S-surgical care, when necessary.  The goals are to keep patients staying functional, controlling pain, avoiding depression, keeping active with friends and family, and ultimately feeling better and living their lives.  Office check-ups, or “PITS stops", are also important because loss of functional status and comfort can be detected earlier rather than later and adjustments in the PITS protocol can be implemented.  A lot of PITS "therapy treatment options" include psychological care, sleep strategies, and complementary care techniques, in addition to, traditional physical therapy and chiropractic care.

 

Unfortunately, many people do not fully know about the availability of pain management services and how to incorporate evaluation and management into their busy schedules.  Many people never get referred by their doctors for an initial evaluation, or do not know family, friends, or colleagues who have had successful pain management evaluation and treatment.

 

The Pain is the PITS® Program provides a unique educational integrative care protocol for the community pain sufferers and for referring physicians for treatment ideas of many different pain conditions.  The program helps people keep their chronic daily pain levels in optimal control, increases follow-up conditions and patient adherence, lowers risk of losing their functional capacity and lapsing into depression, and improves overall quality of life and decreases health costs in the long run.

 

All of the new pain patients seen in my office each week are placed in the program, where their pain care plan is individualized to their specific function and comfort goals.  Patients return for evaluation, many on a monthly basis, if necessary, to determine if their management program is working and to make adjustments in the care plan.  Patients also access the Pain is the PITS website to access to the educational and motivational videos and podcasts online for helpful information to adjust their program.  The primary focus of the PITS Program is on “management” of pain, rather than the “cure” of chronic pain, which is rare.

 

One of the most important components of the program is patient education.  All new patients have available Pain is the PITS® Program worksheets so they can learn about various treatment options that apply to their individual pain problem and seek out the pain care providers that can help with treatments.  Once patients learn how to get better they actually will start to get better in ways they never realized. Patients follow a weekly Pain and Quality-of-Life Score (PITS Score), where the higher your point score the better, your pain control and overall quality of life!

 

The program can be a great time-saver for patients and helps coordinate more comprehensive care strategies with just one initial evaluation.  Many patients have previously been to numerous different doctors and through numerous different medications and therapies, but nonetheless, are still hurting significantly.  Another advantage of the program is that it reduces stress knowing that the pain specialist is going to take the “pain” seriously, like any other serious chronic medical disease, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

 

My Pain is the PITS® Program has proved so popular and effective for thousands of patients over the last decade, that more and more patients, and multi-specialty healthcare providers want the news of my program delivered to them in a multimedia, educational presentation format.  I started my educational pain management multimedia program for America to hopefully serve as the first nationally known educational care model to bring patient and healthcare team together for best integrative pain management, and to keep from continuously escalating opioid therapy.  We will spread the message of pain relief to more and more pain sufferers in the years ahead.

 

Remember the PITS Program motto: "Feel better and live your life, because pain is the PITS!”

 

For detailed information, visit the Pain is the PITS® Program website at painisthepits.com.  

 

Peter A. Kechejian, MD, CPE

Pain Management Specialist

Certified Pain Educator

 

President and CEO

PITS Program, LLC

Dallas, Texas

Pain Awareness Month

Every September is Pain Awareness Month in the United States as organized by the American Pain Society (APS) and Dr. Peter A. Kechejian, MD, CPE is commemorating it with the promotion of his anticipated new book, Pain is the PITS: A Pain Management Program to Answer America’s Opioid Crisis, on painisthepits.com.  Dr. Kechejian (Dr. K) is a board-certified pain management specialist and certified pain educator treating patients out of multiple offices and surgical centers in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York.  His educational pain program has heightened local and national awareness of many complications and societal burdens caused by untreated, undertreated, and even over-treated chronic pain.  According to the American Pain Society (APS) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), up to one-third of all adult Americans, and millions on Long Island alone, are coping with some type of chronic persistent pain condition, and yet so many Americans die each day in this country from some opioid-related cause.

“Many with chronic pain suffer in silence fearing stigma associated with taking potent opioid pain medications or from limitations they might have at work or socially,” said Dr. Kechejian.  “Our intent during Pain Awareness Month is to help improve the community’s understanding of what people with chronic pain deal with every day and to reduce stigma through better understanding of the medical, social, emotional and economic costs associated with untreated or under-treated pain.”  He added that greater access to comprehensive pain management programs and improved insurance coverage are critical for helping pain patients feel better and function better; especially, since the country is shifting away from high-dose opioid narcotics to treat chronic pain.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) passed the nation’s first opioid guidelines in March, 2016; so now there is a renewed focus on more integrative pain management approaches and less high-level opioid narcotic reliance.

The Pain is the PITS® Program was created in 2008 and trademarked a year later to offer patients, with all types of chronic pain conditions, a personalized plan of care for the medical assessment and treatment of their pain using an integrative approach.  The acronym P-I-T-S stands for both an assessment and treatment protocol.  On the assessment side, P-I-T-S stands for:  Physical Function, Intensity of Pain, Thoughts and Behaviors, and Social Interactions.  On the treatment side, P-I-T-S stands for:  Pills (or medications), Injections, Therapy and Surgery.  Dr. Kechejian developed an educational PITS Protocol with various assessment and treatment options in these different areas to establish a pain care plan that will help patients stay functional and avoid depression, realize improved comfort, and ultimately feel better and live their lives.  He initially started a national multimedia educational outreach in 2016 with Real Content Media Group, out of Bethpage, New York, and now he is working through his own company, PITS Program, LLC, to hopefully spread the message of pain relief across the country.  Dr. Kechejian explains his personal motivation for creating this program is that it simply works and he’s been a chronic pain sufferer for over 20 years; “Thousands of patients have already been successfully treated in the program and there are many more to go…so let’s take this good news right to the public!”

 

APS and the IOM have reported that pain is the leading public health problem in this country and the most common symptom that leads to medical care.  It results in millions of lost workdays each year.  The cost of pain, including medical bills and lost workdays, is estimated at over $600 billion per year in America.  Back pain alone produces chronic disability in over 1 percent of the U.S. population and is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old.  As our population ages, the already significant problem of chronic pain in the elderly will increase.  Among cancer patients, it is estimated that over 50% have significant pain during their illness, but fewer than half receive adequate treatment for their pain.  Doctors and patients should all do what we can to improve these situations, right?

For additional information about APS and Pain Awareness Month email them at info@ampainsoc.org

For more detailed information about the Pain is the PITS® Program, visit the website at painisthepits.com.         Remember the PITS Program motto:  "Feel better and live your life, because pain is the PITS!"

 

Peter A. Kechejian, MD, CPE

Pain Management Specialist

Certified Pain Educator

 

President and CEO

PITS Program, LLC

Dallas, Texas

THE OVERALL GOAL:  ACHIEVE A LIFETIME OF IMPROVED COMFORT AND QUALITY OF LIFE

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