What is the Real Cost of Pain?
According to the American Medical Association, when adding up what Americans spend dealing with neck and back pain in 2005, estimates show the cost around $85.9 billion. In 1997, the estimate was around only $52.1 billion. These numbers include surgeries, x-rays, MRI imaging, doctor’s visits, and medications. Not only has the number of patients increased, but the costs are on the rise as well; the cost of medication increased by 423% over this time period. The inflation adjusted cost per patient in 1997 was $4,695, compared to 2005’s $6,096. However, this is only the cost to the patient and insurance companies, one estimate for the cost of Pain is $61.2 billion per year. That figure comes from a recent article by Walter "Buzz" Stewart, PhD, MPH, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, that figure is still only part of the picture. That staggering sum is only the money drained from US businesses because of productivity lost from employees dealing with pain. Stewart’s study also only included arthritis, back pain, headache, and other musculoskeletal pain, yet the numbers were well over one hundred (100) billion in lost productivity due to pain.4
In a study conducted in 2006, it was shown patients who received surgery as treatment for disk herniations were more or less in the same position as patients who decided to not have surgery. 4
Who gets Pain?
In 2003, a survey was conducted by Research!America, on 1000 people at random:
• 57% of all adults have had chronic or recurrent pain in the last year.
• 75% of people currently in pain had to make adjustments to their lifestyle because of their pain, including 33% who had to make major adjustments.
One might think most of these people would be advanced in age, but the study found age was not a true indicator. People under the age of 35 were just as likely to be in pain as older people.
Pain in the Workplace
Although it may not seem many employees are calling in sick or unable to come to work, this is not the main reason for loss of money to companies; in fact it only makes up about 25%. The rest is contributed to a decrease in productivity while being at work. When this is finally realized by employers, there will be a stronger push to find a more aggressive and effective approach to pain relief, and the stress which goes hand in hand with chronic pain.3
Here are just a few more facts about pain on the job:
• Eighty percent (80%) of people feel stress on the job. Forty percent (40%) say they need help in managing it. Gallup Poll, 2000
• Employees’ stress reduces production by thirty to fifty percent (30-50%). HR Magazine.
• Stress in the workplace is estimated to cost more than $300 billion each year in health care. American Institute of Stress
P2 Sports Care, previously Orange County Pain Management, has been serving Southern California for over 5 years. Although many of our patients live right in the city of Huntington Beach, many of them will come from a great distance to receive our Active Release Techniques®, Chiropractic Care, and Rehabilitation. Our customer service is second to none; our patients always come first. Even patients who are afraid of going to a chiropractor love our style of care.
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