Dr. Pohl discusses how women with chronic pain can advocate for themselves.
The first step is really to speak up, to know what the truth is and to be able to verbalize it. And certainly, culturally I think women may be less likely to do that, and certainly people with chronic pain we found are reluctant to complain.
There’s a lot of negative input from our system, but, you know, in order to advocate, a woman with chronic pain needs a medical practitioner who can be helpful. They need somebody who will understand what they are talking about. They need somebody who responds. I mean, I see so many women who come to me as patients, who say, you know, “You have listened more in this ten minutes than my doctor has in the last ten years.” That’s unacceptable.
So really, to be an advocate for oneself you need to find the proper resources. Physicians are only a small part of the puzzle. Medications are only a small part of the puzzle and may actually be a problematic part of that puzzle. So, whoever else they can garner in their system, and I think, you know, family members should be a part of it. So, learning how to communicate adequately and healthfully with support systems and re-establishing that support system is absolutely crucial.
Finding resources to treat the experience of pain, whether it’s a meditation group, a yoga instructor, physical therapy, acupuncturist, I mean, really as an advocate a woman needs to become familiar with these techniques and then access them if they are affordable. If affordability is a problem, concentrating on the breath. Breath is free!
About Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D.:
Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D., is a Board Certified Family Practitioner. He is the Vice President of Medical Affairs and the Medical Director at the Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), the only private, freestanding, medically managed inpatient detoxification and addiction treatment facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.