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11 Reasons You Should See a Pain Specialist Before Your Pain Becomes Chronic

  March 30, 2018

If you’ve recently suffered a severe injury to your back, neck, or knees, you know how debilitating that pain can be to your life, job, and overall happiness.

Waiting for it get better is never a good idea, and your primary physician may recommend a pain treatment specialist, like the ones who work at Pain Treatment Centers of America.

Don’t let acute pain today turn into chronic pain tomorrow. Here are 11 reasons you should consider visiting a pain specialist to prevent long-term pain.

1. Pain is the leading cause of disability.

Pain is reported as the number one reason Americans utilize the health care system. Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability. (Source: National Institutes and Health)

2. Chronic pain can be caused by more than just age.

While most people associate chronic pain with the aging process, it can also result from a prior injury. The most common causes include:

  • Arthritis of the spine—the gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
  • Spinal stenosis—narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
  • Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
  • Myofascial pain syndrome—unexplained muscle pain and tenderness

(Source: Hopkins Medicine)

Featured PTCOA Procedure:
Epidural Steroid Injections

3. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.

Back pain is the second most common reason for a trip to the doctor’s office, with only upper-respiratory infections outranking it. (Source: American Chiropractic Association)

American workers lost on average 4.6 hours per week of productive time due to a pain condition. (Source: The American Academy of Pain Medicine 1 and 2)

Pain Treatment Centers of America - Chronic Pain Leads to Missed Days at Work

4. Chronic pain costs $61.2 billion a year in productivity.

An estimated $61.2 billion a year in productivity is attributed to common painful conditions. Interestingly, 76.6% in lost productive time is due to a reduction in work performance, not absenteeism. (Source: The American Academy of pain Medicine, http://www.painmed.org/files/facts-and-figures-on-pain.pdf)

5. Chronic pain may force you to make huge lifestyle changes.

Those with chronic pain are often forced to make substantial adjustments to their life style, including taking disability leave from work (20%), changing jobs (17%), seeking help with common daily activities (13%), and moving to a new home that is easier manage (13%). (Source: The American Academy of Pain Medicine)

Featured PTCOA Procedure:
Genicular (Knee Joint) Nerve Ablation

6. Chronic pain can lead to depression.

Chronic pain’s toll on the mind is substantial. Depression is the most common emotion tied to chronic pain. Experts believe depression is three to four times more common in people who have chronic pain than in the population at large. (Source: American Chiropractic Association)

Pain Treatment Centers of America - Chronic Pain Can Lead to Depression

7. Chronic pain can reduce your energy and enjoyment of life.

A survey of chronic pain suffers shows that 59% report an impact to their overall enjoyment of life. Their energy levels suffered as well, with 74% reporting an impact due to pain. (Source: The American Academy of Pain Medicine and National Institute of Health)

8. Your sleep may also be affected.

Roughly 20% of adult Americans, or 42 million people, report that pain disrupts their sleep a few nights a week or more. (Source: The American Academy of Pain Medicine)

9. Chronic pain can impact other health conditions.

Adults with low back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain: 28% of adults with low back pain report limited activity due to a chronic condition, as compared to 10% of adults who do not have low back pain.

Also, adults reporting low back pain were three times as likely to be in fair or poor health and more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without low back pain. (Source: The American Academy of Pain Medicine)

Featured PTCOA Procedure:
Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial

10. Under-treated pain drives up health care costs.

Under-treated pain drives up health care costs. An estimated $100 billion annually in health care expenses, loss of income, and loss in productivity is attributed to under-treated pain. In turn, this extends the length of hospital visits, as well as increases trips to the emergency room and unplanned clinic visits. (Source: American Medical Association)

11. 80% of adults experience low back pain.

If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. (Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Conclusion

If you suffer from physical pain or acute pain, you are not alone. Don’t become a statistic—seek treatment now to prevent future suffering.

Speak with your physician and learn more about Pain Treatment Centers of America’s interventional pain procedures.

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