As we have already discussed, the AHA has released some truly mindbogglingly short-sighted recommendations on how to treat all chronic pain patients, which basically boils down to “what pharmaceutical options?” But I didn’t share the truly funny part about this last night, which is that earlier this month, a couple of gynecologists released the results of a small study suggesting that ibuprofen is ideal at treating dysmenhorea, more commonly known to people (okay, women) as extremely painful periods.
As I quipped to Daniel in email, this would appear to fall under the AHA guidelines for a chronic pain being improperly treated. Perhaps these women should try physical therapy, instead.
Less tongue-in-cheek, these two articles actually highlight a large issue that surrounds the whole notion of doing studies and releasing results in the first place. There is often very little coordination between different organizations, which leads to a mismatch of recommendations that end up leaving the average patient very confused (and frankly, sometimes I wonder about the average doctor, too). This is a larger scale example of the same thing that can affect patients who see multiple physicians: poor communication leads to contradictory, conflicting, and at times dangerous treatment combinations.
We have got to start working together and reaching across disciplinary boundaries to expand our knowledge, rather than staying within our insulated worlds and not considering how our professional words and actions are going to impact others.