- Written by Laurie Deskavich, Information & Caregiver Resource Center Program Director
- Published: 23 August 2018
What you need to know about pain
September is Pain Awareness Month. Pain Awareness Month was developed to help increase awareness regarding pain and its effects and to educate people about treatments that are available to relieve pain. According to Johns Hopkins University, by understanding more about what causes pain, we can improve treatments to help relieve suffering.
Q: What do I need to know about pain and its effects?
A: It is important that you know that there are two types of pain:
- Acute pain is usually a result of an injury, illness, surgery or inflammation. Acute pain generally is resolved within a short period of time (one to two weeks).
- Chronic pain is pain that continues for months or even years.
Untreated pain can affect your quality of life.
Here are some facts about pain and its effects:
- Pain affects more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
- Workers lose on average of 4.6 hours per week of productivity due to pain.
- An estimated 20 percent of adults report that their sleep is interrupted by pain or discomfort a few nights a week or more
- 80 percent of people will experience back pain at some point
- Back pain is the number one reason people visit their family doctors
- 83 million people indicate that pain affects basic functioning in their everyday lives
- Pain is a warning sign that indicates a problem that needs attention
- Living with pain can be debilitating and adversely affect everyday life
Medication is not the only way to manage pain!
There are many pain intervention and management options available that do not rely solely on prescription opiates. Seek the advice and assistance of your primary care physician to find a pain specialist right for you.
The Healthy Living Program at LifePath can help you manage chronic health conditions and pain management as well as learn ways to eat healthier, exercise more, and develop healthy habits. There is even a workshop series specifically for chronic pain. For more information, contact the Healthy Living Program.