- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 28 August 2015
Millions of Americans are in pain
Partners for Understanding Pain, a consortium of more than 50 organizations that have an interest in pain and its effects, most Americans don’t know that pain is the most common cause of disability in the United States.
“Knowledge about pain is lacking and misinformation abounds among those living with pain, as well as those in care-giving professions,” said Dr. Daniel Carr, vice chairman of research and medical director for the chronic pain management program at Tufts-New England Medical Center, in a press release. “The Partners for Understanding Pain survey highlights how misinformed most people are about pain. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents cited something other than pain as being the primary cause of disability in the United States.”
The National Institutes of Health’s 2012 National Health Interview Survey found that most American adults have experienced some level of pain, from brief to more lasting pain, and from relatively minor to more severe pain. An estimated 25.3 million adults (11.2 percent) had pain every day for the preceding 3 months. Nearly 40 million adults (17.6 percent) experience severe levels of pain. Those with severe pain are also likely to have worse health status.
What can you do about pain?
In addition to talking with your doctor or pain specialist about the right treatment plan, you may wish to:
Try a complementary health approach.
Yoga, massage, and meditation may help manage pain and other symptoms that are not consistently addressed by prescription drugs and other conventional treatments.
Try a “Chronic Pain Self-Management” workshop.
If you or your loved one is experiencing chronic pain, check out Healthy Living, which offers several workshops, including Chronic Pain Self-Management. In self-management programs, the individual becomes an active participant in his or her pain treatment – engaging in problem-solving, pacing, decision-making, and taking actions to manage their pain. To learn more or register for a workshop, contact us. Those interested in training to become a volunteer Healthy Living Leader may also contact us.