Health: "We can overcome chronic pain without medication"

Health: “We can overcome chronic pain without medication”


Dr. Marc Lévêque is a neurosurgeon and pain specialist in Marseille.

photo Buchet Chastel

Dr. Marc Lévêque, a neurosurgeon and pain specialist in Marseille, is the author of several books on the subject of psychosurgery and pain surgery. He has just written a book (1) dedicated to the 14 million French people who clench their teeth every day. through suffering. “I call it the scandal of pain and all medicine,” he begins. One in five French people today suffers chronically, finding relief nowhere else than in the excessive consumption of opioids and other painkillers. There are other exits. »

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Is everyone equal in the face of pain?

Some of them we call “tough on pain” or “hard to cook”, but in the end, are we all the same in the face of pain? Is the famous scale from 0 to 10 the same for everyone? “Ah, what a great question,” smiled the doctor. Pain varies in each of us according to our genetics. There are even people who have insensitivity to pain, congenital analgesia. When I was a kid, I knew a patient who stepped on a screw, drove it deep into his foot, and didn’t even flinch. Also, you will find my comments sexist, but the sensation of pain varies between the sexes. Women are more sensitive to pain, and sensitivity varies depending on the hormonal cycle. »

Would women who give birth with pain since the beginning of time be more vulnerable to pain? Dr. Marc Lévêque runs the risk of creating some enemies among feminists. “Suffering does not protect against pain, pain begets pain,” he explains. And furthermore, it is quite likely that women, who become sensitized very early to pain with menstruation, childbirth, etc., have a lower threshold for it. Other external elements intervene in the fact of better tolerating or not the fact of having pain: the social aspect counts, disadvantaged people suffer more, unhappy people at work too, those who are also alone. »

The 4S rule

In his book, Dr. Lévêque explains that if one responds to the 4 S’s, physical inactivity, loneliness, overweight, senescence (old age), then chronic pain sets in, amplifies, and the final response becomes medication. “Physicians in general have become accustomed, because medical demographics are at their lowest point and because they lack time, to systematically prescribe painkillers, reflexively. Analgesics, psychotropics, antibiotics are the most prescribed drugs: the drug market is 62,000 million euros a year, according to LEEM. (the pharmaceutical union, editor’s note)”

To get off all medication, Dr. Marc Lévêque describes new techniques to control and combat pain. But above all he advocates sports medicine, good nutrition, all practices of hypnosis, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, sophrology and relaxation. In Marseille he practices neuromodulation techniques, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), devices adapted to the hospital environment. Medicines are available everywhere, but these non-pharmacological techniques are only accessible in pain centers, and even then not in all. There are only 300 in France, all saturated. »

Dr. Lévêque’s book is a call to “save” people who suffer in silence. “Only twenty hours are spent on pain during medical school, it is not even a recognized specialty in its own right, when we all have people around us who are suffering and whose lives are seriously slowed down, altered, dominated by that suffering. . »

#Health #overcome #chronic #pain #medication

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