Chronic pain is an extremely difficult problem affecting over 100 million Americans 1. Chronic pain takes an enormous toll on each individual who has chronic pain. Chronic pain also affects families, employers, and the healthcare system negatively.
Chronic pain is widespread, with over 30% of Americans living with some type of acute or chronic pain 2. Additionally, 80 percent of Americans will experience an episode of low back pain at some time in their lives 3. Consequently, the healthcare system is struggling to help patients with chronic pain. Chronic pain accounts for 10–16% of visits to the emergency department, contributing to overcrowding and adverse events 4. Additionally, between 10-15 % of patients that present to their general practitioner have chronic pain 5. Furthermore, chronic pain can lead to mental health problems, with approximately 35% of patients with chronic pain also having depression 6. As a result, low back and neck pain is the third-most expensive condition for health care spending in the United States 7.
Patients who are struggling with chronic pain are often prescribed opioid pain medication. Due to the widespread nature of chronic pain, opioids have become the most commonly prescribed type of medication in the United States 2. However, this can be highly problematic because opioids are addictive. For many patients with chronic pain, opioid medications are taken for long periods of time. Unfortunately, taking prescription opioids for longer periods of time or in higher dosages can increase the risk of addiction, overdose, and death 8. Currently, opioid deaths have exceeded any other drug-related deaths 9. Presently, 66% of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid 10. Additionally, more than 40% of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid, with more than 46 people dying every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids 8.
Chronic Pain is an extremely difficult problem affecting millions of people.
Chronic pain also takes a toll on the workforce. Low back pain is responsible for about a third of work-related disability 11. This results in a decrease in productivity, which including days missed from work, hours lost from work, and lower wages.
The value of this lost productivity is estimated at: days of work missed (from $11.6 to $12.7 billion), hours of work lost (from $95.2 to $96.5 billion), and lower wages (from $190.6 to $226.3 billion) 12. Furthermore, many patients with chronic pain are not able to keep their current employment and have a difficult time finding new employment.
As a result, a thorough, integrated solution is needed to deal with this complex problem. Fortunately, the Functional Restoration Program is a proven, effective program that is shown to help patients with chronic pain achieve their treatment goals.
Please read more about the Functional Restoration Program here.