The Major Costs of Chronic Pain
The respected journal Pain recently studied the economic impact of chronic pain on society. The results were very surprising. About 100 million adults suffer from some sort of chronic pain, including arthritis. This can be very costly for the whole society, not just because of the direct costs for treating the pain. But additional costs are associated with the complications in treating other conditions because of the chronic pain. As an example, we know that taking pain medications cause stomach bleeding, addiction, and hospitalization. Another cost factor is the lost productivity due to lost-time from work.
Researchers found the following numbers:
- The total costs ranged from $560 to $635 billion in 2010 dollars.
- The additional health care costs due to pain ranged from $261 to $300 billion.
- The value of lost productivity due to pain ranged from $299 to $335 billion.
- We found that the annual cost of pain was greater than the annual costs of heart disease ($309 billion), cancer ($243 billion), and diabetes ($188 billion).
These numbers are staggering. Our healthcare system is really messed up if the average person in chronic pain is spending about $8,000 to treat his chronic pain.
One researcher on the team made this comment, “Our estimates are conservative because they do not include costs associated with pain for nursing home residents, children, military personnel, and persons who are incarcerated.”
There is a much better solution for society: turn to chiropractic. Chiropractors are successful in treating many types of chronic and chronic pain, including disc injury, headaches, sciatica, and whiplash. We have research and science to support our anecdotal evidence.
Dr. Andrew White
Chiropractor St George UT
The Economic Costs of Pain in the United States
Darrell J. Gaskin, Patrick Richard
The Journal of Pain – August 2012 (Vol. 13, Issue 8, Pages 715-724, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2012.03.009)