Most U.S. adults experience pain, be it mild or severe, brief or long-lasting. An analysis published in the August 2015 issue of The Journal of Pain estimated that 126.1 million adults (55.7%) reported some pain in the previous 3 months, with 25.3 million adults (11.2%) suffering from daily (chronic) pain and 23.4 million (10.3%) reporting a lot of pain. Based on the persistence of and problems caused by their pain, 14.4 million adults (6.4%) were classified as having the highest level of pain, category 4, with an additional 25.4 million adults (11.3%) experiencing category 3 pain. Individuals with category 3 or 4 pain were more likely to have a poor health status, to use more health care, and to suffer from more disability than those with less severe pain. Associations were seen between pain severity and selected demographic variables including race, ethnicity, preferred language, sex, and age.
The estimates are based on combined data from 8781 U.S. adults who completed a subsection of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an annual study which in 2012 asked participants about the frequency and intensity of pain experienced in the prior 3 months. The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) funded the study.
Pain may not be adequately controlled with commercially available prescription drugs or other conventional treatments, and so many Americans turn to complementary care such as yoga and massage.
Customized medications containing one of more active ingredients in the best dose and dosage form to treat a specific patient often provide relief for those who suffer from chronic pain. Our pharmacist works together with patients and their health care providers to solve problems that have not responded to manufactured drugs.
Many medications can be administered topically and provide relief at the site of pain will less potential for side effects. Also, different ingredients – such as ketoprofen, gabapentin, amitriptyline, and lidocaine – maybe combined in a topical pain cream to help address various mechanisms of action of pain. Furthermore, many supplements may help with pain management.
We welcome your questions to help your healthcare team to provide solutions to your pain issues.
The quotes in the above review were from a Medscape article entitled “Pain a Common Problem in America”, which was posted online August 11, 2015.