Saturday, August 27, 2011
How many Americans Suffer from Chronic Pain?
No googling the answer now. No cheating!
Would you believe ... 100 Million Americans suffer from Chronic Pain?
In a June article on WebMD by Salynn Boyles they discuss the cost, around $600 Billion, a YEAR! And they say that is probably underestimated because it does not include the military and children.
Now we know that since the war in the gulf more soldiers are coming home with chronic pain due to the extreme nerve injuries from the IED's (and since they have been making them for many years can they stop calling them improvised already?), and every year more and more children seem to be getting diagnosed with chronic pain, so this number in my opinion, is waaay off. That would also make the 100 Million number off as well. But it does give you a good idea of the chronic pain problem in our country.
Years ago it was kind of the secret no one wanted to talk about. If you had someone in your family who suffered from chronic pain, they weren't able to work, they endured an endless chain of Drs trying to find the correct diagnosis, or were in search of the right combination of medication and/or treatment no one wanted to talk about them.
They were often labeled malingerers, layabouts, or other such things. Especially if they were unable to get correctly diagnosed. Think about some of the diseases that have only recently been accepted by many physicians as "actual diseases" with real symptoms but in actuality have been around for many, many decades as have their victims; Fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome), Epstein-Barr, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, just to name a few. It wasn't too long ago that patients with these diseases were thought to be making up their symptoms.
Chronic Pain has often been called the "Invisible Disability" because so often you can't see pain. But ask any chronic pain patient if they can identify another CP patient and they will tell you absolutely!
So next time you see someone parking in the handicapped spot, that has a handicapped plate or placard but doesn't look handicapped to you, before you start thinking "He/she doesn't look handicapped to me!", think, "I hope they aren't in pain."
Take care, and be safe,