one of the clearest, most concise (and short) descriptions of how the brain-body registers pain AND the HOPE of remedy.
Elliot Krane, M.D., Pediatric anesthesiologist, Director of Pain Management Services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford
“We think of pain as a symptom, but there are cases where the nervous system develops feedback loops and pain becomes a terrifying disease in itself. Starting with the story of a girl whose sprained wrist turned into a nightmare, Elliot Krane talks about the complex mystery of chronic pain, and reviews the facts we’re just learning about how it works and how to treat it.” TED
Current Statistics on Chronic Pain
- An estimated 50 million Americans:
- An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from persistent pain each year, according to the American Pain Foundation. Add two loved ones for every patient and the total number of people affected is at least 150 million Americans–50% of the population.
- 1 in 3 Americans:
- 1 in 3 Americans lose more than 20 hours of sleep each month due to pain, according to the American Alliance of Cancer Pain Initiatives (AACPI).
- According to the National Headache Foundation, headaches are the most common type of pain. It is estimated that industry loses $50 billion per year due to absenteeism and medical expenses caused by headaches.
- Pain is the second leading cause of medically related work absenteeism, resulting in more than 50 million lost workdays each year, according to the American Pain Society.
- There are more than 100 forms of arthritis. Currently more than 33 million Americans have arthritis. Nearly 90% of all persons over age 40 show beginning signs of arthritis or rheumatism (Lawrence, R.C., Hochberg, MC, Kelsy J.L., Journal of Rheumatology 16, 427-441)
- Women are less likely to receive treatment for pain than men
- According to recent pain research by Hoffman and Tarzian ( “The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women In The Treatment of Pain” Law/ Med Ethics, 2001: 29:13-27), women are less likely to receive treatment for pain than men.
- Some 52 million informal and family caregivers provide care to people aged 20+ who are ill or disabled, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Many caregivers consider pain to be an indication of the patient’s status.
- Costs & Effects of Pain:
- Pain costs an estimated $100 billion each year. Every day, 60% of men and women experience some pain (AACPI).
- Of the community dwelling elderly, up to 50% can be expected to suffer from pain. Among institutionalized elderly 71% to 83% report at least one pain problem (L. Galieze, “Chronic Pain in Elderly People” Pain 1997 Mar., 70 (1): 3-14)
- Social life:
- Chronic pain not only causes physical discomfort, but also interferes with social relationships, family life and self-esteem. There is a high correlation between chronic pain and depression.