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New campaign targets orofacial pain

In Octo­ber the new Glob­al Year Against Pain (GYAP) – the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion for the Study of Pain’s annu­al year­long cam­paign – begins. This year it cen­tres on oro­fa­cial pain, which is phys­i­cal dis­com­fort asso­ci­at­ed with the mouth and face.

Each year IASP’s cam­paign attempts to raise aware­ness of pain as a con­di­tion in its own right and to edu­cate health care pro­fes­sion­als, gov­ern­ment lead­ers and the pub­lic about chron­ic pain con­di­tions with the aim of improv­ing the care avail­able to patients. The asso­ci­a­tion chose to high­light chron­ic pain due to its severe effect on many peo­ple world­wide and because, despite the fact that many cost-effec­tive pain relief meth­ods are fea­si­ble, gov­ern­ments often neglect this area of health­care. IASP points out that whilst few peo­ple die of pain, mil­lions live and die in the midst of it, thus ren­der­ing it an impor­tant issue.

As with their pre­vi­ous GYAP cam­paigns, which have tar­get­ed headaches, vis­cer­al pain and can­cer pain among many oth­er types of chron­ic pain, IASP aims to raise inter­na­tion­al aware­ness and improve treat­ment of oro­fa­cial pain. Health­care pro­fes­sion­als and experts on oro­fa­cial pain have cre­at­ed infor­ma­tion pam­phlets on the sub­ject of oro­fa­cial pain for IASP and oth­er relat­ed organ­i­sa­tions. Some of these mate­ri­als are aimed at doc­tors and den­tists, while oth­ers are intend­ed to help patients under­stand their con­di­tion. Through­out the year, IASP and its 90 nation­al chap­ters will also spon­sor var­i­ous activ­i­ties, such as meet­ings, media inter­views and pub­li­ca­tions, to pro­mote edu­ca­tion on issues sur­round­ing oro­fa­cial pain.

Falling into the gap

IASP has cho­sen oro­fa­cial pain as its focal point for this year’s cam­paign because many health pro­fes­sion­als are not suf­fi­cient­ly trained to recog­nise and treat this chron­ic pain prob­lem. This stems from the fact that oro­fa­cial pain con­di­tions often fall into the gap between den­tal and med­ical exper­tise, which means that typ­i­cal­ly nei­ther doc­tors nor den­tists are very famil­iar with the problem.

Pro­fes­sor Joan­na Zakrzews­ka, who as Hon­orary Pro­fes­sor of Restora­tive Den­tal Sci­ences at UCL leads research into oro­fa­cial pain, explains that many doc­tors get no train­ing in this area, whilst den­tists are poor­ly taught about the need for a more holis­tic approach to facial pain. As a result oro­fa­cial pain often goes unde­tect­ed for a long time, being mis­tak­en for tooth ache or oth­er den­tal prob­lems, and symp­toms can become very severe before it is diag­nosed. IASP hope that their cam­paign will raise aware­ness in doc­tors, den­tists and the pub­lic alike, so that oro­fa­cial pain can be diag­nosed and treat­ed more quickly.

About oro­fa­cial pain

Oro­fa­cial pain includes such con­di­tions as trigem­i­nal neu­ral­gia, tem­poro­mandibu­lar dis­or­ders (affect­ing the mus­cles and joints of the jaw), burn­ing mouth syn­drome, per­sis­tent idio­path­ic facial pain and trigem­i­nal neu­ro­path­ic pain. These con­di­tions are caused by dis­eases or dis­or­der of region­al struc­tures, by dys­func­tion of the ner­vous sys­tem, or through refer­ral from dis­tant sources in their caus­es. The dis­or­ders vary in their symp­toms and treat­ment, but all can prove chal­leng­ing to diag­nose. One diag­nos­tic approach cat­e­go­rizes oro­fa­cial pain into four groups based on the under­ly­ing pain mechanisms—namely, mus­cu­loskele­tal, neu­ro­path­ic, neu­rovas­cu­lar, and psy­chogenic pain. Oro­fa­cial pain is com­mon, with around a quar­ter of the pop­u­la­tion of the UK affect­ed by one of its man­i­fes­ta­tions. It is more com­mon in women than men.

Oro­fa­cial pain con­di­tions can cause extreme dis­com­fort; trigem­i­nal neu­ral­gia has been described as one of the most excru­ci­at­ing pains known to man. Patients have likened the sen­sa­tion to light­en­ing shoot­ing through their face or an elec­tric shock that is trig­gered by the light­est touch. Fur­ther­more, there are social and psy­cho­log­i­cal issues asso­ci­at­ed with oro­fa­cial pain, with over 70% of peo­ple affect­ed expe­ri­enc­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tress and many feel­ing social­ly iso­lat­ed. Loss of sleep and pain else­where in the body are also linked to oro­fa­cial pain.

With the Glob­al Year Against Oro­fa­cial Pain IASP is shin­ing a pow­er­ful spot­light on the top­ic in order to remove the cur­rent bar­ri­ers to fast and effec­tive treatment.

https://painconcern.org.uk/cordless-car-vacuum-cleaner-eraclean-best-handheld-vacuum/