Exploring the Profile of the “Average” Chronic Pain Sufferer

Average Chronic Pain in Los Angeles, CA

Anyone can experience temporary aches and pains at any given time. When it comes to chronic back pain, however, there are some commonalities among those who fit into this category. This clearer picture of what a typical chronic back pain sufferer looks like is the result of a survey of more than 600 patients experiencing pain lasting beyond 4-12 weeks.

Behaviors, Habits, and Personal Experiences

Out of the 600 or so chronic back pain sufferers surveyed, more than 80 percent are non-smokers and nearly half never drink alcohol. More than 75 percent agree that excess weight can contribute to back pain, suggesting an awareness of possible contributing factors, with over 30 percent stating that they exercise at least 3 times a week. More than a quarter of those surveyed also reported the following experiences related to their chronic back pain:

  • Having lost a job
  • Filing for disability
  • Currently collecting disability
  • Opting for early retirement

Perceived Causes of Back Pain

Respondents were asked to guess what was likely contributing to their back pain, with the top choice being some type of age-related wear. Other suspected causes of back pain among those surveyed include:

  • Work-related injuries
  • Issues from a prior surgery
  • Genetics

Treatments Provided and Sought

Pain management specialists and primary care physicians are the types of doctors who typically prescribe pain medications to chronic pain sufferers, according to the survey. Most of the patients surveyed went to their regular doctor in search of relief, with just over 40 percent having visited a neurosurgeon and 35 percent reported having seen an board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon. Nearly half of the surveyed chronic back pain sufferers had lower back surgery in an attempt to find relief.

If anything, these commonalities stress the fact that lingering back pain can have a significant impact on quality of life. Whether or not you fit the profile of the typical chronic back pain sufferer, there are many advantages to seeking treatment sooner rather than later, becoming a well-informed patient, and getting input from multiple doctors, including those specializing in different aspects of spine care, to clarify your treatment options.

If chronic pain is interfering with your daily life, it is time to consider a visit to leading Beverly Hills spine surgery center, The Spine Institute. As leaders and innovators in spine surgery, our experienced physicians can diagnose the cause of your pain and discuss all possible treatment options to help you move forward to a pain-free life. Call us today at (310) 828-7757 and schedule a consultation.