If chronic pain affects your life, or the lives of your loved ones, you’re not alone. In 2018, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report estimating that some 50 million Americans are living with chronic pain. That’s “just over 20 percent of the adult population,” or one in five adult individuals.
However, findings from research conducted by other agencies differed widely from the CDC estimate, even when those agencies operated from within the same overall departments. Alternate figures ranged from 11 million all the way up to 100 million Americans with chronic pain.
So, why are these numbers so far apart?
It is not uncommon for different chronic pain studies to produce such varied results. Due to the subjective nature of chronic pain, it can be difficult to pin down exact statistics with any level of precision, leaving researchers to estimate the numbers based on known, fixed criteria.
Since chronic pain is not a one-dimensional condition that fits within a single set of ‘rules’, research estimates can only be most accurate within the context of specific, designated parameters as applied to known subjects and populations. The resulting statistics will vary from one study to the next based on how many people actually report their pain conditions, as well as geographic, socioeconomic, age and gender factors. Varying medical conditions and pain thresholds may also influence research outcomes.
Here are some interesting statistics that have been derived from additional focused research studies by the CDC:
- Chronic pain was found to have a higher prevalence in people from one or more of these groups:
- Retired Individuals
- Adults living in poverty
- Adults who have public health insurance
- Rural residents
- Adults who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher showed substantially lower chronic pain pervasiveness than those with any other education level.
- Adult Caucasians had significantly higher prevalence of chronic pain than all other racial and ethnic groups.
- In adults younger than 65, chronic pain prevalence was higher in those who rely on Medicaid or public insurance coverage when compared to those who have private insurance or no insurance at all.
- In adults 65 and older, chronic pain prevalence was higher for those with Medicaid or Medicare than for those who have any other type of insurance.
As can be surmised by the research data above, chronic pain statistics can vary greatly depending upon numerous contributing factors. Furthermore, the resulting estimates can only be based on known cases of chronic pain. For instance, a low estimated prevalence of chronic pain in uninsured adults may not necessarily mean fewer of those adults are suffering; but rather, many people who have no medical insurance simply can’t afford to seek treatment for their chronic pain, and therefore go unreported.
What we do know, however, is that despite differing research results, debilitating medical conditions and pain are definitely impacting a large percentage of the American population, whatever the exact number may be. Yet, these studies still provide valuable insights that serve to facilitate the targeting of specific pain relief treatments, so that today’s pain management specialists can more effectively help to alleviate suffering for their patients.
There is Hope for Sufferers of Chronic Pain
If you are living with chronic pain, the only statistic that matters is you. And thanks to the latest in innovative treatment options and technologies, you can be one less statistic in the chronic pain category.
At Florida Pain Relief Centers, our expert pain management physicians can help you regain a life that is enjoyable, not just bearable. We provide many treatment options for minimizing or eliminating your chronic pain.
If you’re ready to break the cycle of suffering, we can help. Simply call Florida Pain Relief Centers at (800) 215-0029 or click the button below to schedule your consultation online for one of our many clinic locations, and we’ll get you started on the road to a more pain-free quality of life.