Americans are living in pain. According to reports, millions had pain for at least one day in the last month. One in 10 people has suffered from pain for one year or more. The most common pains facing Americans are lower back pains, severe headaches and joint pains. Amy Bernstein, who was the lead author of the government’s annual comprehensive health report, says those involved chose to focus on pain because it is rarely discussed.  “We also chose this topic because the associated costs of pain are posing a great burden on the health care system, and because there are great disparities among different population groups in terms of who suffers from pain,” Bernstein said.
Pain statistics in the report include:

  • Pain lasted more than 24 hours in the last month in one-fifth of adults age 65 or older.
  • Pain lasted one year or more in more than three-fifths of adults age 65 or older.
  • Low back pain was experienced in the last three months by more than one-quarter of adults.
  • Migraines or severe headaches were experienced by 15 percent of adults in the last three months. Adults age 18-44 are three times as likely to experience migraines or severe headaches than those 65 years or older.

The report also says that average spending on healthcare in 2004 was $6,280 per person.

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