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You’re Not Alone. Notes from the American Academy of Pain Medicine

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, chronic pain affects more people than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined.

The AAPM site reported the following numbers of sufferers for various diseases and medical disorders

  • Chronic Pain. 100 million Americans. Institute  of Medicine  of the National Academies
  • Diabetes. 25.8 million Americans. American Diabetes Association
  • Coronary Heart Disease. 16.3 million Americans. American Heart Association
  • Cancer. 11.9 million Americans. American Cancer Society

The AAPM also notes that one in five Americans report that pain makes sleeping difficult a few nights a week.

Data from the National Center for Health Statistics Report

According to data from the above report:

One in four  Americans who are 20 years of age or older has reported pain that  has lasted for more than 24 hours (not  including acute pain). Interestingly, adults 65 and older were the least likely to report pain.

Data from an American Pain Foundation Survey

The AAPM also notes a survey conduction  by the American Pain Foundation (in 2006) which examined slightly over 300 chronic pain sufferers. The report  found that:

  • Over 50% of people felt they had  little or no control over the pain they had
  • 60% said they experienced a severe enough pain daily that affected their quality of life
  • 70 % said they had difficulty concentrating
  • 77% reported feelings of depression
  • 86% reported difficulty sleeping

Data from a Peter. D. Hart Research Associates Survey

A 2003 nationwide survey by a respected research organization found that:

  • 20% of chronic pain sufferers were forced to leave work
  • 17% of chronic pain sufferers were forced to changed jobs
  • 13% of chronic pain sufferers needed help with daily living
  • 13% of chronic pain sufferers  needed to move to a home that was easier to manage

Chronic  pain sufferers saw doctors at the following rates:

  • 63% saw a family doctor
  • 40% saw a specialist – for example, an orthopedists
  • 25% say a chiropractor
  • 15 % saw a pain management doctor

70% of chronic pain sufferers believe pain research and pain management should be a high  priority for the medical community.

57% of chronic  pain sufferers reported a willingness to pay an  extra dollar a week in taxes for pain management research at the federal level


This blog does not constitute medical advice.
We see patients from Bucks, Philadelphia, Mercer, and Montgomery Counties. We treat patients who live in Levittown, Richboro, Doylestown, Langhorne, Newtown, and the Delaware Valley region

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