More than 51 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—20% of the U.S. adult population. Pain costs Americans $560–$650 billion a year in health care costs and lost productivity, notes Dr. Nikhraj Brar. “People will tolerate a lot of pain for a long time,” he says. “But the earlier you have treatment, the better you can prevent that pain from getting worse. There are multiple things you can do prior to having a big surgery.”
Dr. Brar advises those suffering from chronic pain to choose a doctor who is fellowship trained and board-certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). “They’re going to be trained to treat you conservatively, along a continuum of care,” he says. “It could be as simple as physical therapy or a prescription for nonaddictive medication. But rather than doing those things on your own, let us follow up and be your champion.”
Previously published in Providence Holy Cross Medical Center's Health Matters Fall 2023 Issue.