September is Pain Awareness Month

Monday, September 5, 2016
Danielle Turnak

September is Pain Awareness Month, and the care team at Putnam County Pain Management is dedicated to educating the community on the impact of chronic pain, along with the options for those who suffer have to find relief.

The purpose of Pain Awareness Month is to create greater understanding among health care professionals, individuals and families who are struggling with pain management, the business community, legislators and the general public that pain is a serious public health issue.

The month is also focused on raising awareness about chronic pain to be more readily recognized and better understood without the stigma.

American Chronic Pain Associations Pain Awareness Campaign was established in 2001 to help raise awareness of chronic pain.

What is chronic pain? Chronic pain is defined as ongoing or recurrent pain, lasting beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury or more than three to six months, and which adversely affects the individual’s well-being. There are everyday lifestyle changes that can help a person alleviate some of this pain, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, participating in life and quitting smoking

There are times when these healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough for the individual that is experiencing chronic pain. When additional medical attention is needed, that is where a pain management program can help.

Some facts about the prevalence of chronic pain:

-- 100 million people suffer from chronic pain which is more than diabetes (26 million), heart disease (24 million), and cancer (13 million) combined.

-- Pain is cited as the most common reason Americans access the health care system. It is a leading cause of disability and it is a major contribution to health care costs.

-- 38 percent of patients have visited more than one specialist for relief.

-- An estimated 20 percent of American adults report that pain or discomfort disrupts their sleep a few nights a week or more.

--- 27.2 percent of adults 18 years and over have suffered from low back pain in the previous three months that lasted longer than 24 hours.

-- 14.8 percent of adults over the age of 18 have suffered from neck pain in the previous three months that lasted longer than 24 hours.

-- Women reported low back 29 percent compared to men reporting it at 25 percent.

-- When asked about four common types of pain, respondents of a National Institute of Health Statistics survey indicated that low back pain was the most common (27%), followed by severe headache or migraine pain (15%), neck pain (15%) and facial ache or pain (4%).

-- Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain.

-- Adults with low back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain: 28 percent of adults with low back pain report limited activity due to a chronic condition, as compared to 10 percent of adults who do not have low back pain. Also, adults reporting low back pain were three times as likely to be in fair or poor health and more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without low back pain.

Chronic pain also affects the individual’s quality of life. More than 70 percent of those that suffer report feelings of depression, trouble concentrating, less energy and the inability to sleep well.

Putnam County Pain Management Center creates individualized treatment plans for patients based on a number of considerations, including the cause and level of pain.

Diagnoses treated at the center include neck and back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic pelvic pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), nerve damage, as well as pain associated with arthritis, muscle spasms and shingles.

The center is staffed by Danielle Turnak, MD, a highly trained pain management specialist. Dr. Turnak has been treating patients for pain in Central Indiana for more than 15 years.

Putnam County Pain Management Center is committed to patients for the life of their pain and compliance with their care plan. The center establishes an agreement with the patient that holds him or her accountable to the use of only one pharmacy, one prescribing physician, keeping medications safe from loss or theft, pill counts and urine drug testing.

“People who have acute or chronic pain that is preventing them from living their normal life may be a good candidate for this program,” Dr. Turnak says. “We offer some of the most advanced treatments available today for pain management. These treatments are more tolerable and less invasive than in the past,” she adds.

“The last thing these patients need is to travel long distances for treatment when they’re already in pain,” Putnam County Hospital CEO Dennis Weatherford says. “We are very pleased with the success stories over the last year. Dr. Turnak and the team at Putnam County Pain Management Clinic have been a great addition to the hospital and the community we serve.”

Talk to your doctor about a referral to Putnam County Pain Management Center. For more information, persons may call 658-2706 or go to

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