Nearly six in 10 adults are living in pain, according to new data. But balanced pain management could be the key to helping many of them find relief.
A recent study, released by the National Center for Health Statistics, found that:
- The back was the most prevalent site for pain, affecting nearly 40% of those surveyed
- Back pain was most common among women, white adults and people aged 65 and older
- Low-income people, defined as those with income below 100% of the federal poverty level, were more likely to experience back pain.
Chronic pain is associated with diminished quality of life and higher health care expenses. Among the most common health conditions, chronic pain costs the U.S. economy an estimated $300 billion in lost productivity each year.
Individualized Pain, Individualized Treatment
Though back pain and other forms of chronic pain may be common, the experience of living with them is different for each patient. That’s why a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment is often ineffective, especially in the long term.
A personalized, balanced approach to pain management yields better results. Aside from being patient centered, the approach emphasizes a multi-faceted management plan, one that addresses the physical, emotional, social and psychological aspects of pain.
Following a balanced approach to pain management may also encompass a range of treatment options. Pairing traditional medications with non-pharmacologic options like physical therapy, as well as complementary strategies such as talk therapy and yoga, can empower patients to manage pain successfully.
Accessing Patient-Centered Pain Care
Balanced pain management can be an effective strategy, and the stakes have never been higher. Regardless, insurers’ use of cost-saving tactics may delay or limit patients’ access to the full range of pain management approaches.
Rather than focusing on short-term savings, insurers should prioritize long-term relief. Only then can patients access multi-pronged, personalized care so that pain doesn’t keep them sidelined.