Imagine pain that doesn’t go away, or that subsides for a
few days, weeks or months but then returns. If you can do
more than just
imagine this condition, you’re probably suffering from chronic
pain - and you’re not alone. Chronic pain is one of the most
common reasons people seek health care, and they do it up
to five times more frequently than the general population.
How serious is the problem? If the estimates in this study
from England are any indication, very serious indeed. A random
sample of 5,036 patients (age 25 and older) from 29 general
practices completed questionnaires to assess the presence
of chronic pain (three months’ duration or more). Response
data taken from the questionnaires revealed the widespread,
debilitating nature of chronic pain:
- Overall, more than one of every two respondents (50.4%)
reported suffering chronic pain.
- The proportion of respondents complaining of chronic pain
increased dramatically with age, from 31.7% in the youngest
age group (25-34 years old) to 62% in the oldest age group
(75 years and older).
- 17.2% reported no need to use health care services for
their pain, but 28% reported the highest need for such services.
- Age, sex, housing tenure, and employment status were identified
as potential contributors to chronic pain.
If aches and pains are a daily or near-daily occurrence in
your life, it’s high time you sought the services of your
local doctor of chiropractic! If you’d like more information
on finding a chiropractor near you, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/cgi-bin/locator.
Elliott AM, Smith BH, Penny KI, et al. The epidemiology of
chronic pain in the community. Lancet 1999: Vol. 354,