Understanding The Impact of Chronic Pain

Liv­ing with chron­ic pain can be all-con­sum­ing. Chron­ic pain can lim­it your abil­i­ty to ful­ly par­tic­i­pate in, and strip you of your enjoy­ment of, your per­son­al or pro­fes­sion­al life. When sim­ple phys­i­cal activ­i­ties become big tasks, it’s com­mon that heavy feel­ings may fol­low. Feel­ings of iso­la­tion, anx­i­ety and depres­sion are common. 

Despite how com­mon chron­ic pain is and the myr­i­ad of avail­able treat­ment options, life with chron­ic pain is still wide­ly misunderstood. 

What Is Chron­ic Pain?

Chron­ic pain is any pain that per­sists for three months or longer. 

Chron­ic pain by the numbers:

  • 50 mil­lion (1 in 5) US adults suf­fer from chron­ic pain [1]
  • 12.5 mil­lion US adults suf­fer from chron­ic back pain. 
  • #2: Chron­ic back pain is the sec­ond most com­mon rea­son for health care vis­its (after the com­mon cold). 
  • #1: Chron­ic pain is the lead­ing cause of dis­abil­i­ty in the US. 

Com­mon Mis­con­cep­tions of Chron­ic Pain

Some com­mon mis­con­cep­tions about chron­ic pain include: 

Chron­ic pain is not manageable.

This is false. While often not com­plete­ly cur­able, chron­ic pain like so many chron­ic dis­eases can often be well man­aged, lim­it­ing its impact on your every­day life.

Pain man­age­ment treat­ment options are one size fits all. 

This is false. Your pain physi­cian has a host of treat­ment options avail­able and will work with you to cus­tomize a plan. 

Chron­ic pain can always be diag­nosed by an abnor­mal test. 

This is false. Pain can­not always be shown through an abnor­mal test but that doesn’t mean the pain can­not be well managed. 

Chron­ic pain med­ica­tion must be avoid­ed due to risk of addiction. 

This is false. When used appro­pri­ate­ly, many patients find the risk of addic­tion is far out­weighed by the qual­i­ty of life improve­ment pro­vid­ed by well-man­aged medication. 

Chron­ic pain is an unavoid­able part of aging. 

This is false. While chron­ic pain does increase with age, the impact that it has can more often than not be dra­mat­i­cal­ly reduced.

Chron­ic pain can lim­it your abil­i­ty to do the things you love and, left untreat­ed, can result in iso­la­tion, anx­i­ety and depres­sion. Ongo­ing chron­ic pain should not be your norm. Duly Health and Care pain med­i­cine spe­cial­ists and physi­a­trists are here to help. Sched­ule an appoint­ment with your provider today.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db390.htm#:~:text=Interview%20Survey%2C%202019.-,Summary,65%20and%20over%20(30.8%25).

Health Topics:

  • I appreciate the profound impact pain can have on an individual’s quality of life. When patients enter our clinic they should be very optimistic, as the tools at our disposal are constantly improving. To achieve the best outcomes, I start with the most conservative approach and progress through more advanced interventions as pain and symptoms warrant.