“We can get rid of chronic pain without medication”


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

foto Buchet Chastel

Dr. Marc Lévêque, neurosurgeon and pain specialist in Marseille is the author of several books on the issue of psychosurgery and pain surgery, he has just written a book (1) dedicated to the 14 million French who grit their teeth on a daily basis, by virtue of suffering. “I call it the pain and medicine scandal,” he said. One in five French people today suffers from chronic pain, finding no relief other than in the overuse of opioids and other painkillers. There are other ways to get out. »

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All equal in the face of pain?

Some are called “hard to hurt” or “hard to cook”, but in the end, are we all equal when it comes to pain? Is the famous 0-10 scale the same for everyone? “Oh, the beautiful question,” smiled the doctor. The pain varies in each of us depending on our genetics. There are even people who have insensitivity to pain, congenital analgesia. I knew a patient, a child, who had walked on a screw, planted it deep in his foot, and didn’t even wince. On the other hand, you will find my statement sexist, but the sensation of pain varies by gender. Women are more sensitive to pain, with a sensitivity that varies depending on the hormonal cycle. »

Will women who experience nighttime pain also be vulnerable people who experience pain? Dr. Marc Lévêque risks facing some enemies among feminists. “Suffering does not protect against pain, pain calls for pain,” he said. And besides, it is quite likely that women, who are very early sensitized to pain with menstruation, childbirth, etc., have a lower threshold because of this. Other external elements intervene in the fact of enduring better or not, the fact of being hurt: the social aspect counts, the disadvantaged people suffer more, the unhappy people at work too, those who are alone as well. »

The rule of the 4 S

In his book, Dr. Lévêque explains that if one responds to the 4 S, sedentary, loneliness, overweight, senescence (old age), then the chronic pain settles, amplifies and the last answer becomes medicinal. “Doctors in general have become accustomed, because medical demographics are at their lowest and because they lack time, to prescribe painkillers systematically, as a reflex. Painkillers, psychotropics, antibiotics are the most prescribed drugs: the drug market is 62 billion euros a year, according to the LEEM. (the pharmaceutical union, ed.) “

To get out of all medicine, Dr. Marc Lévêque described new techniques for dominating and combating pain. But above all, he advocates sports medicine, good nutrition, all practices of hypnosis, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, sophrology and relaxation. He practices neuromodulation techniques, transcutaneous electrical neurostimulation (TENS) in Marseilles. adapted devices in a hospital setting. Medications are partially available, many non-medical techniques are not available in pain centers and beyond. There are only 300 in France, all saturated. »

Dr. Lévêque’s book is an advocacy for “saving” people who suffer in silence. “Only twenty hours of pain are devoted to the theme of the while during medical studies, it is not a fully recognized specialty, so we all have around us people who suffer and whose lives are seriously slowed down.” altered, dominated by this suffering. »

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