Medical Professionals to Promote Medication-Free Pain Relief

by | 3 minute read

"Chron­ic pain is a com­mon prob­lem for Amer­i­cans, touch­ing all age groups and demo­graph­ics, reports Con­sumer Reports. A report from the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion last fall esti­mat­ed that one in five adults (about 50 mil­lion Amer­i­cans) report­ed hurt­ing every day or almost every day in the pre­vi­ous six months. Near­ly 20 mil­lion report­ed pain so severe it lim­it­ed their abil­i­ty to work, social­ize, and even take care of them­selves and their fam­i­ly."

"Peo­ple with chron­ic pain fre­quent­ly have trou­ble access­ing the right care, says Daniel Clauw, M.D., direc­tor of the Chron­ic Pain and Fatigue Research Cen­ter at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan Med­ical School. 'One prob­lem is that there are far too few trained pain spe­cial­ists,' he says."

"Accord­ing to one report pre­pared for Con­gress by a task force of 29 experts, 'for every physi­cian cer­ti­fied in pain care, there are more than 28,500 Amer­i­cans liv­ing with chron­ic pain.'”

"Many pri­ma­ry care doc­tors 'learned to treat chron­ic pain the same way they treat short-term pain from surgery or an injury, with opi­oids,' Clauw says. But most evi­dence shows these potent drugs don’t work well against long-term pain, and they come with the risk of addic­tion, mis­use, and over­dose. From 2012 to 2017, as opi­oids came under increased scruti­ny, the num­ber of doc­tors writ­ing new pre­scrip­tions dropped by near­ly one-third, accord­ing to a recent analy­sis of insur­ance claims pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine."

"Safer, more effec­tive, often non-pharmaceutical alter­na­tives are gain­ing favor. In a 2017 JAMA review, Clauw and col­leagues out­lined an approach for treat­ing chron­ic pain that can include surgery and med­ica­tion but relies pri­mar­i­ly on oth­er treat­ments, such as coun­sel­ing, mind­ful­ness and med­i­ta­tion, hands-on ther­a­pies, and exer­cise."

"Mount­ing evi­dence shows that this com­bi­na­tion of strate­gies, some of which are cov­ered by insur­ance, works well against chron­ic pain."

Sixty-one per­cent of Chron­ic Pain Suf­fer­ers turned to a search engine to research prod­ucts or ser­vices they were con­sid­er­ing last month, accord­ing to Audi­enceS­CAN. Many (83.6%) of these con­sumers pre­fer to use Google when con­duct­ing search­es. Addi­tion­al­ly, only 17.1% will go past the first page of search results, so SEO is cru­cial when tar­get­ing this audi­ence.

"Any sin­gle non­drug approach to treat­ing chron­ic pain, such as acupunc­ture or yoga, might offer only mod­est ben­e­fits. But research sug­gests that com­bin­ing the treat­ments is the key to last­ing pain relief. 'The cur­rent state of treat­ment in chron­ic pain is that we have a lot of treat­ments that work a lit­tle bit,' says Clauw, at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, includ­ing:

  • Get more/better sleep: Numer­ous stud­ies have shown that poor sleep can wors­en pain, in part because exhaus­tion can adverse­ly affect brain func­tion
  • Phys­i­cal activ­i­ty: can reduce pain and improve people’s abil­i­ty to move through their day
  • Hands-On heal­ing: includ­ing acupunc­ture, mas­sage, spinal manip­u­la­tion and heat
  • Cog­ni­tive behav­ioral ther­a­py: ther­a­pists can teach patients to iden­ti­fy thoughts and behav­iors that wors­en pain, and replace them with new thought pat­terns designed to calm the ner­vous sys­tem and relieve pain"

Providers of these ser­vices and oth­er alter­na­tives for reliev­ing pain can tar­get Chron­ic Pain Suf­fer­ers with dig­i­tal adver­tise­ments. Accord­ing to Audi­enceS­CAN, these con­sumers are 32% more like­ly than oth­er shop­pers to find adver­tise­ments on social media use­ful. Addi­tion­al­ly, last year, these shop­pers took action after receiv­ing email ads (47.2%), either see­ing ads on their mobile smart­phone apps or receiv­ing ads via text (35.8%) and click­ing on text link ads on web­sites (35.8%). Tra­di­tion­al adver­tis­ing media shouldn't be left out, though. With­in the last year, 59.5% took action after see­ing TV com­mer­cials and 44.4% react­ed to ads they saw in both print and dig­i­tal news­pa­pers.

Audi­enceS­CAN data is avail­able for your appli­ca­tions and dash­boards through the Sales­Fu­el API. Media com­pa­nies and agen­cies can access Audi­enceS­CAN data through the Audi­enceS­CAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Ana­lyst, spe­cial­iz­ing in audi­ence intel­li­gence, at Sales­Fu­el. She also helps to main­tain the major accounts and co-op intel­li­gence data­bas­es. As the hold­er of a Bach­e­lors degree in Eng­lish from The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, Rachel helps the rest of the Sales­Fu­el team with their writ­ing needs.