Nearly 20 million among French adults suffer from chronic pain resistant to treatment. The Academy of medicine warns, Monday, October 15, in a report made public on their support within the 273 centers of the pain that she feels threatened. The patients seeking help mostly for low back pain and sciatica (26 %), neuropathic pain (19 %), pain, cancer (17 %), headache and migraine (12 %), and fibromyalgia (10 %).

Put in place by the pioneers of pain in France from 1998, the ” structures specialized chronic pain “, or SDC, are for 67 of them dedicated centers and 206 of the consultations against the pain. Five thousand patients are cared for by centre and by year, with an average wait time of three months and the number of consultation requests ” is growing continuously “.

But many of them are threatened due to the impending retirement of the doctors who founded them “and the” risk that they are not replaced, due to lack of trained applicants to the medicine of the pain or because of the non-renewal of medical posts, ” the report says of the Academy. Half of the staff of these centres have gone or are going to retire between 2015 and 2025 (115 out of 229 according to a survey of 132 structures), with the risk that half of these jobs are not replaced. For the same period, 16 SDC (13 consultations and 3 dedicated centers) are in danger of closing.

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Best treatment of chronic pain

The SDC, which marry several specialists (neurologists, rheumatologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses …), are essential to understanding the chronic pain, defined as ” pain progressing for more than six months and affecting in a negative way, the behavior and the well-being of the patient.”

The ageing of the population, the improvement of the survival rate after a cancer advocate for better treatment of chronic pain. As it is expensive, especially in sick and in consultations. There are five times more sickness absence long-term in patients with chronic pain sufferers and they go two times more than the others, which is an additional cost annual assessed to $ 1,163 billion euros.

The Academy of medicine advocates the strengthening of the network of SDC existing, but also to strengthen the training of doctors in pain and to develop clinical and basic research.

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