Pain Awareness Month 2021
The U.S. Pain Foundation sought to raise awareness on the critical issues facing 50 million Americans living with chronic pain during Pain Awareness Month.
The initiative, #PainCounts, shows the devastating burden of chronic pain and the impact it has on real people. Each day, we shared a fact about chronic pain on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, along with one article a week that focused on different aspects of chronic pain awareness and care. We also hosted a live event that brought together experts in the field of pain care and patients to discuss why #PainCounts.
On this page, you’ll find all the articles we published, source information for each #PainCounts daily fact, and more.
Daily Fact Sources
- Fact: At least 50 million Americans endure pain every day. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm
- Fact: 20 million Americans live with “high-impact pain” or pain that significantly impacts their daily life. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm
- Fact: In a U.S. Pain Survey, 84% of children with chronic pain indicated they experienced anxiety. http://uspainfoundation.org/surveyreports/pediatric-pain-report/
- Fact: Pain is one of the leading reasons American adults seek health care. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16471269/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1627578149196000&usg=AFQjCNH247lOJ9rUBuMGx5VxDtxz-n4t2A
- Fact: A report found that healthcare practitioners feel less sympathy, dislike patients more, and suspect deception when there is no clear medical explanation for the pain. https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/7089631/file/7089643.pdf
- Fact: In a U.S. Pain Survey, 83% of respondents mentioned the use of heat and cold therapy to manage pain. http://uspainfoundation.org/surveyreports/accesstocare/
- Fact: As of 2018, 96% of medical schools in the US did not require students to take courses on pain medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6251835/
- Fact: The National Institutes of Health dedicate less than 2 percent of funding to pain research. https://www.hhs.gov/about/budget/budget-in-brief/nih/index.html
- Fact: People with severe pain spent $7,726 more on annual health care expenditures than people with no pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22607834
- Fact: People with chronic pain have at least twice the risk of suicide than those without chronic pain. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M18-0830
- Fact: Latinx patients were 22% less likely and Black patients were 29% less likely to receive opioid analgesia than white patients. https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/13/2/150/1935962
- Fact: Half of white medical students believed at least one false statement like “Black people’s nerve-endings are less sensitive than white people’s nerve-endings” to be true. https://www.pnas.org/content/113/16/4296
- Fact: In 2010 dollars, pain costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatments, disability payments, and lost productivity. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22553896/
- Fact: In a survey of 3,000 physicians nationwide, more than one-third said opioid restrictions “have hurt patients with pain.” https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/01/02/doctors-curtail-opioids-but-many-see-harm-pain-patients
- Fact: In a U.S. Pain Survey, 43% of respondents indicated heating pads and adhesives were effective at managing their pain. http://uspainfoundation.org/surveyreports/accesstocare/
- Fact: People making under $55k are less likely to be prescribed pain medication than those with higher incomes. https://secureservercdn.net/220.127.116.11/d4q.b22.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/AAMP_2021_Poster_FINAL.pdf
- Fact: In a U.S. Pain Survey, over 75% of respondents indicated cost prevented them from accessing one or more treatment options. http://uspainfoundation.org/surveyreports/accesstocare/
- Fact: In a U.S. Pain Survey, almost 90% said they would like telehealth to continue beyond COVID-19. http://uspainfoundation.org/surveyreports/accesstocare/
- Fact: The percentage of adults with chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain increase as place of residence became more rural. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db390.htm
- Fact: One study found that more than half of people with chronic pain met the criteria for insomnia. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27208716/
- Fact: People with migraine disease experienced a nearly 70% increase in monthly migraine attacks during the pandemic. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5886319ba5790a66cf05d235/t/5f876bad0c2f6f3cd29ebc48/1602710448271/The+Headache+%26+Migraine+Policy+Forum_COVID+%26+Migraine+Survey+Report_Oct.+2020.pdf
- Fact: The most commonly used management strategies for chronic pain are physical therapy and massage. https://journals.lww.com/pain/Abstract/9000/Prevalence_of_chronic_pain_among_adults_in_the.98045.aspx
- Fact: 74% of people with high-impact chronic pain are currently unemployed. https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(18)30358-4/fulltext
- Fact: Veterans are 40% more likely than civilians to experience pain. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27884688/
- Fact: People with chronic pain are four times more likely to have depression or anxiety than those who are pain-free. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3000181/
- Fact: In a U.S. Pain Survey, 68% of respondents use heat at least once a week, and 45% use cold at least once a week to manage their pain. http://uspainfoundation.org/surveyreports/accesstocare/
- Fact: In a U.S. Pain Survey, less than half of children with chronic pain report having a pain specialist caring for them. http://uspainfoundation.org/surveyreports/pediatric-pain-report/
- Fact: Between 2002–2018, chronic pain prevalence in the US increased by 10% among adults 25-84. https://read.dukeupress.edu/demography/article/58/2/711/168526/Pain-Trends-Among-American-Adults-2002-2018 and https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/more-and-more-us-adults-have-chronic-pain-new-study-shows#Pain-prevalence-increasing
- Fact: In a U.S. Pain Survey, 74% of respondents indicated they have been living with their pain for at least 10 years, with 34% living with it for more than 20 years. http://uspainfoundation.org/surveyreports/accesstocare/
- Fact: Adolescents with chronic pain report much higher symptoms of insomnia (54.2%) compared to those without (19.6%). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005005/
IN THE NEWS
- “Sunbeam® Joins the U.S. Pain Foundation’s #PainCounts Initiative to Support People with Chronic Pain During National Pain Awareness Month” — PR Newswire, September 1, 2021
- “The US Pain Foundation Sets September Initiative for Awareness with #PainCounts” — HCP Live, September 17, 2021
Our 2021 Pain Awareness Month campaign is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Sunbeam®, a leading manufacturer of electric appliances serving home and personal wellness.
Thank you for supporting the pain community!