Chronic pain shatters US vets from Iraq

by Pierre Gabriel - Date: 2007-05-09 - Word Count: 396 Share This!

They are heroes in their own ways-risked their lives for the country. Yet after all the heroic acts, all they get are a few accolades, a few bucks and a handful of health problems.

Many reports have been made regarding the plight of US veterans coming from Iraq. Some received medication immediately and likewise cured yet some still bear the pain years after they have come home.

Military doctors say chronic pain is one of the top "veteran invaders". They warn pain specialists even as they hope that slowly improving battlefield pain control may stem the tide.

The idea is to block the agony faster so that the body's pain network may not go into the overdrive that sets up the injured for lingering trouble long after they're officially healed.

An acute pain specialist lamented that it will take the military to stop thinking of pain as a symptom, a consequence of war.

He said pain is really a disease and if left unmanaged, may lead to serious consequences.

Not only are the troops who suffered severe wounds such as loss of a limb who suffer but others with varying types of pain that goes untreated, or undertreated.

Reports said that troops with traumatic brain injuries, a signature of the war, may not be able to express pain adequately. More common is a tough-it-out mentality, a fear that admitting pain might block return to duty. This may also be an indication of hesitancy because they know wounds could have been worse.

The veterans who suffer the chronic pains are advised to always have pain relievers like Tramadol, handy. At the strike of pain, which more often are unexpected, Tramadol, a non-narcotic pain releiver will guarantee fast relief. The medication is also among the top selling pain relievers today, and is available online through

Doctors have long known that suppressing acute pain aids short-term recovery. But it's also a factor in whether patients develop a long-term misery, chronic pain.

Based on military casualty records, injured nerves send distress signals to the brain. If those signals go unabated, the brain can essentially memorize pain and become hypersensitive.

An infamous example is the phantom limb pain that often strikes amputees. But less severe injuries can spur chronic pain, too, which in turn is linked to post-traumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, and disability.

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