Pubdate: Tue, 06 Apr 2010
Source: Palm Beach Post, The (FL)
Copyright: 2010 The Palm Beach Post
Author: Anthony N. Pannozzo


Pain is real. Just ask one of the estimated 37 million to 45 million
people who have been affected by a painful condition. Ninety percent
of Americans will have lower back pain at least once. That is why I
and my son, who shares a practice with me, are so concerned about the
feeding frenzy sweeping through municipalities and state legislatures
seeking to regulate pain clinics.

We understand and agree that there have been abuses in prescribing
drugs that do no more than mask pain and often addict the patient
rather than alleviate the problem . Clinics should be physician-owned.
There should be databases to prevent doctor shopping.

Today's medications used in the treatment of pain are more effective
and safe than ever before, but only certain medications should be used
in these treatments. The legitimate use of drugs is on the rise and
this is something that government regulation must address.

Some addiction centers are calling the rise in painkiller abuse
pandemic, and whole new departments are springing up to treat older
adults who are self-medicating, doctor shopping for prescription drugs
and are adopting a "better living through chemistry" mantra. Narcotic
use as a treatment for pain has increased exponentially with the
increase of pain clinics and that is just plain wrong.

To be able to diagnose a pain syndrome requires a clinical
physiology-oriented physician to diagnose and treat the patient. There
is no pain source that cannot be treated, successfully, without drugs
to cover up the pain.

And to Florida legislators, be careful during your deliberations to
stop abuses. There are legitimate doctors who know what they are
doing, and these doctors are the ones you want in business when your
lumbar pain flares up again.

Anthony N. Pannozzo, MD

Delray Beach

Editor's note: Dr. Anthony N. Pannozzo owns Pain Centers Nationwide in
Delray Beach. His son, Paul A. Pannozzo, MD, operates Pain Centers
Nationwide in Phoenix and Chandler, Ariz. They are co-authors of
"Arthritis and Other Pain Syndromes." 
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