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German expert sheds light on nerve pain treatment

Thursday, September 26, 2013
The Philippine Star | 66 Views

With over five million chronic pain sufferers in the country, there is no doubt that the economic burden of having to deal with the disorder becomes all the more complex, especially with the cost of medication and reduced productivity at work due to anxiety and depression.

This is because, for some, the pain does not just seem to go away despite unrelenting care and treatments.

To shed light on this medical concern, Pfizer Inc. flew in recently German pain expert Rainer Freynhagen to make clear the diagnosis of neuropathic pain and give updates on the functional changes associated with the disorder.

According to Freynhagen, neuropathic (nerve) pain is a type of chronic pain that results from damage to either the nerves that normally sense pain or parts of the nervous system that transmit pain signals, such as the spinal cord or the brain.

For its diagnosis, he said, “The approach to this disease should be individualized. And so listening closely to the patient’s symptoms is vital to understanding the specific pain pathology.”

He added: “The pain questionnaire, called PainDETECT, a screening tool, is also useful in identifying neuropathic pain.”

But the German pain research expert revealed that the prescription drug Pregabalin remains one of the most effective drugs in reducing pain and improving a patient’s quality of life, while stressing the need to consult a doctor for a more comprehensive assessment and treatment to the disease.

In the Philippines, however, Pfizer launched a new approach to neuropathic pain management via its intensified awareness campaign called “Know Your Pain, Stop the Pain.”

The new project aims to drive and sustain Pfizer’s goal to increase people’s awareness on nerve pain management by providing relevant information, tools, and solution to the disease.

Dr. Chito Lucero, a rheumatologist and Pfizer cluster physician, said, “Nerve pain can be devastating. It can disrupt your life at home and at work. It limits your ability to get around and to live a normal life.”

Lucero added: “When ignored, it can have a negative effect on a sufferer’s daily routine and on his general quality of life. Many people with nerve pain find it difficult to sleep, hard to concentrate, and often feel tired and restless. But the good news is while nerve pain cannot always be cured, it can be treated — and there are a lot of good options available for it.”

For this campaign, the pharmaceutical company has forged partnerships with doctors, hospitals, and leading drugstores to further disseminate information about the campaign.

“At Pfizer, we recognize the fact that the first step to ensure a quality life is to increase people’s knowledge about pain management. And that is exactly what we are trying to achieve with this campaign,” Lucero said. 

For more information on “Know Your Pain, Stop the Pain,” visit

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