Other Doctors May Not Believe You, but a Chiropractor Knows the Truth About Chronic Pain
Millions of people in the United States live with chronic pain, especially low back pain. Some medical doctors seem like they don’t believe your pain is as bad as you say, and belittle your experiences. As a chiropractor, I take my patients’ pain very seriously, because I know the facts about chronic pain don’t lie.
What Is Chronic Pain?
According to the American Chronic Pain Association:
“Chronic pain can be described as ongoing or recurrent pain, lasting beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury or more than 3 to 6 months, and which adversely affects the individual’s well-being. A simpler definition for chronic or persistent pain is pain that continues when it should not. (IASP 2004)”
According to the National Institutes of Health:
“Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back injury, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes including depression, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.”
The chronic pain patients I see may have one or more of the following:
- Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning.
- Difficulty sleeping, which causes fatigue and daytime drowsiness.
- Difficulty at work–it may be hard to perform your daily tasks at work such as lifting, pushing, pulling, bending over, prolonged sitting, etc.
- Chronic lower back pain may even make it impossible to work, leading to disability.
- Chronic pain patients’ relationships can be strained, such as a spouse who does not understand your condition
- Social life suffers – not many people want to go to the movies or go out to dinner if they cannot sit, go to a party if they can’t stand and by the end of the day after you have been fighting the pain all day most people just don’t want to be social
- Chronic pain patients have difficulty working around the house, both inside
Chronic Pain Stats
Read through these chronic pain statistics provided by paindoctor.com:
Chronic pain statistics in the U.S.
- Pain affects more people in the U.S. than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined
- 126 million, or 55% of all adults, experienced pain in the previous three months
- 4 million U.S. adults report “a lot of pain”
- 3 million U.S. adults suffer from daily pain
- Various reports list that over 50 million, but up to 100 million, U.S. adults have chronic pain conditions, an estimate that does not include acute pain conditions or children in pain
- More than one-quarter of adults (26%) age 20 years and over – or, an estimated 76.5 million people – report that they have had a problem with pain of any sort that persisted for more than 24 hours in duration
- Of those in pain, 27% suffer from lower back pain, 15% from severe headache or migraine pain, and 15% from neck pain
Economic statistics on pain
Pain is a significant public health problem that costs society at least $560-$635 billion annually, an amount equal to about $2,000.00 for everyone living in the U.S.
- People in the U.S. spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain treatment
- Pain is associated with a wide range of injury and disease, and is sometimes the disease itself
- Some conditions may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy, or may be conditions in which pain constitutes the primary problem, such as neuropathic pains or headaches
- The total annual incremental cost of health care due to pain ranges from $560 billion to $635 billion (in 2010 dollars) in the United States, which combines the medical costs of pain care and the economic costs related to disability days and lost wages and productivity
- There are currently over 4,000 U.S. doctors in practice for the management of pain
Back pain statistics
- Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world
- 80% of U.S. adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives
- Up to 6 million patients suffer from chronic back pain
- Adults with lower back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain
- 28% of adults with lower back pain report limited activity due to a chronic condition, as compared to 10% of adults who do not have lower back pain
- Also, adults reporting lower back pain were three times as likely to be in fair or poor health
- Back pain patients are more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without lower back pain
- Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work, and the second-leading cause for doctor’s visits”
A Chiropractor Takes Your Pain Seriously
Is pain affecting your life or the life of a loved one? If you read this far it is likely that you or someone close to you is suffering when they may not have to—a chiropractor can help you diagnose and treat the root cause of your pain.
I’ll tell you how chronic pain was effecting “Jane.” Her low back pain goes back 28 years! If that’s not bad enough, her chemo-induced neuropathy goes back 25 years! Jane was having a hard time walking, her balance was getting worse, and she was a fall risk. It was difficult to sleep which made getting through her days a struggle at times.
At the consultation, I could see the fear in her eyes. “Do I have to live like this forever?”
Her exam findings were cause for concern, but I thought we could help her.
I told Jane this and she was skeptical. She was hesitant, and yet she looked me square in the eyes and said, “I’m trusting you.”
As a chiropractor, I do not take that trust lightly. To me every patient’s case is serious, because we know virtually every case can become chronic. As a matter of fact, whether patients realize it or not, our long-term goal is always to keep the patient out of chronic pain!
After a few weeks, Jane is walking better, her sleep is much improved, she feels more steady on her feet, and she’s less of a fall risk. Jane’s quality of life is much improved from her time with a chiropractor, and that’s what it’s all about—improving the quality of people’s life, allowing them to live THEIR lifestyle, not a lifestyle dominated by pain.
An experienced chiropractor can be very helpful in reducing chronic pain and improving the quality of your life. At the Algonquin Chiropractic Center, I’ve been serving the community as a top chiropractor in Algonquin, IL since 1997. If you’re searching for a chiropractor to treat your pain, give us a call (847) 854-2000 and schedule a consultation today!