According to a report published by the CDC, approximately 50 million people in the U.S. live with chronic pain. Chronic pain can interfere with the ability to work or to even perform everyday life tasks. This September we are promoting awareness about chronic pain and highlighting ways to fight for improvements in government pain-related policies. There are things you can do to help even if you are unable to leave your house.
Typically, pain is considered chronic when it persists for six months or more. But for some patients, chronic pain can last for years or even a lifetime. There are many possible causes for this type of long-term pain, including injuries or underlying diseases. And the types of pain people experience can be as varied as the conditions that accompany them.
Pain is so unique to each individual; it can be a challenge to both diagnose causes and manage treatment. The U.S. Pain Foundation writes “typically, successful pain management requires finding a combination of multidisciplinary, multimodal therapies that reduce pain enough to improve quality of life and increase function.”
In addition, dealing with chronic pain can be than just the physical toll and the mental anguish. There is also increased financial costs...
Patients with moderate pain pay $4,516 more in annual health care costs than those with no pain.*
In time, if there is no identifiable cause, patients may be diagnosed with chronic pain and goals will then move from resolving to reducing and managing their pain. Often patients with chronic pain are overlooked and undertreated, especially among minorities.
The National Institutes of Health dedicate less than 2 percent of funding to pain research. If you want to get involved, the U.S. Pain Relief Foundations offers ways to volunteer both in person and electronically. They state the “majority of our volunteer opportunities are structured so that they can be done from the comfort of your couch”. Learn more here.
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* Gaskin, Darrell J., and Patrick Richard. “The Economic Costs of Pain in the United States.” The Journal of Pain, vol. 13, no. 8, 2012, pp. 715–724., doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2012.03.009.