If you don’t deal with pain on a regular basis, odds are you don’t realize how big of a problem pain is in our society. That being said, there’s a good chance you do deal with pain, because roughly one in three adults is the United States is battling a pain condition. Whether it’s from arthritis of the hips, carpal tunnel in the wrist or another painful conditional, pain is very prevalent here in America.
To help bring awareness to the pain problem, September has officially been declared Pain Awareness Month. Today, we hope to share some facts about pain and bring attention to the problem so that we can work towards a solution.
Everyone’s Pain Is Different
Pain is unique to the individual. Even though you may share a diagnosis with thousands of other people, your pain is going to be unique to you, so it should come as no surprise that treatments can differ greatly even if two people are diagnosed with the same pain condition. For some, physical therapy, exercise and a diet change can help keep pain at bay, while others will find relief with acupuncture, yoga and anti-inflammatory medications.
The key to treating pain is to treat the underlying condition, not the symptoms. Some passive treatment techniques like opioids or pain injections help to decrease pain levels in the short term, but they do nothing to treat the underlying problem, which means these patients will never truly be rid of pain. Pain specialists are great at finding the underlying cause and developing treatment strategies to fix the true source of pain. It’s not always going to be easy, but trust us when we say it will be worth it in the long run.
Treating pain also needs to be a two-way street. There is no magic pill to cure your of your pain, so while a doctor can help diagnose your pain and suggest treatment options, we can’t force you to take part in therapy or eat a healthier diet. The desire to get rid of daily pain needs to come from the patient. We will do everything possible to help you on your journey, but we can’t do it for you. Meeting with a pain specialist is a great way to set and manage expectation between doctor and patient.
Facts About Pain
To better explain just how prevalent chronic and acute pain is in today’s society, check out some of the facts about pain below.
- Over 75 million Americans deal with a pain condition, more than those diagnosed with cancer and diabetes combined.
- 30 percent of adults between the ages of 45-64 experience pain that lasts longer than 24 hours.
- The estimated annual cost of chronic pain in the US is more than $100 billion.
- 1 in 5 people experience pain that disrupts their ability to sleep.
- Back pain is the leading cause of disability for people under the age of 45.
- Less than half of pain sufferers feel like they have control over their pain.
- More than 75 percent of individuals with chronic pain say they suffer from depressive thoughts or anxiety.
- Headaches were the most common type of pain that led to lost productivity in the workplace.
- Only 15 percent of people with a pain condition go to a pain specialist. Most prefer their primary care doctor.
If you are dealing with a pain condition, consider setting up an appointment with a pain specialist. Your doctor has a wide range of medical knowledge, but they lack the depth of knowledge about specific pain conditions that a specialist has. If you want to set up an appointment, reach out to Dr. Cohn’s office today.
Thomas Cohn, MD
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