Defined as pain lasting beyond six months, chronic pain can have a major impact on quality of life. Anywhere from 50 to 100 million Americans live with some degree of ongoing pain, with lower back pain considered the most common type of chronic pain in the U.S. Here are some more fast facts about chronic pain worth considering, presented by The Spine Institute in Los Angeles.
1. Total annual healthcare costs due to chronic pain are approximately $600 billion in the U.S. This includes costs from lost wages and decreased productivity.
2. American adults living with chronic pain are more likely to experience psychological distress. Ongoing pain can also contribute to increased stress and anxiety.
3. Chronic pain is the top reason for adult disability in the United States.
4. Sports injuries are the leading cause of chronic pain for Americans in their twenties.
5. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, half of all older adults in the U.S. who live by themselves experience chronic pain. About 80 percent of elderly adults in assisted care facilities report chronic pain.
6. Adults between the ages of 45 to 64 are more likely to report ongoing pain than their younger or older counterparts.
7. A survey by the American Pain Foundation found that more than half of all respondents with chronic pain felt they had no control over it.
8. After lower back problems, common sources of chronic pain include arthritis, reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), a complex regional pain condition, repetitive stress injuries, and fibromyalgia.
9. Respondents to the 2015 Sleep in America poll with chronic pain reported an average “sleep debt,” the difference between the amount of sleep needed and how much sleep someone actually gets, of 42 minutes.
10. Six out of ten patients with chronic pain report experiencing breakthrough pain daily, or pain that “breaks through” relief offered by medication.
11. The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations estimates that roughly a third of all Americans will experience chronic pain at some point.
12. Multiple studies have found no significant difference in the intensity of chronic pain experienced by men and women, although women are more likely to report it to their doctor.
If chronic back pain is preventing you from enjoying life to the fullest, it might be time to reach out to a board-certified spine surgeon. Call The Spine Institute Center at (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation.