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1 in 5 Americans experience chronic pain

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 3 months ago

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that more than 51 million Americans suffered from chronic pain in 2021, making up 20.9% of the population. Chronic pain, which lasts for at least three months, can have a significant impact on daily life and work activities. In fact, 6.9% of Americans experience high-impact chronic pain, resulting in a substantial reduction in daily activities.

Various conditions can lead to chronic pain, including arthritis, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, cancer, and obesity. Additionally, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can also contribute to chronic pain. The emotional and mental toll of chronic pain is profound, with up to 85% of patients experiencing severe depression as a result.

Certain demographic groups are more affected by chronic pain than others, with American Indian and Alaska Native adults experiencing the highest prevalence of high-impact chronic pain. Divorced or separated individuals and those with lower family incomes are also more likely to suffer from chronic pain.

Addressing and treating chronic pain is a complex challenge due to its subjective nature. Healthcare providers must consider an individual's physical, mental, and behavioral well-being when developing a treatment plan. Therapies such as opioids, physical therapy, surgery, neurostimulation, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life for those with chronic pain.

Innovative approaches, such as Outcomeus, a clinical monitoring platform that allows patients to monitor and treat their pain virtually, are emerging to help address chronic pain more effectively. With healthcare costs for chronic pain in America estimated to be up to $635 billion per year, it is crucial for public health officials, policymakers, and healthcare personnel to prioritize policies and programs that improve access to affordable care and reduce healthcare disparities for those suffering from chronic pain.

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