NEW YORK — Nearly half of Americans worry they’ll never have another pain-free day in their lives. A new study asked 2,000 Americans about their daily experience and the impact on their life of dealing with aches and pains. Along with finding that 48 percent believe they’ll never have a pain-free day again, the average American says they only have 13 truly pain-free days every year.
During a typical year, with the global pandemic aside, respondents’ pain can be so intense that it causes them to cancel plans, making a significant impact on the enjoyment of their daily lives.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Axogen, the survey asked respondents about their experiences with chronic pain. Thirty-seven percent have received a diagnosis for chronic pain at some point, defined as ongoing pain that usually lasts longer than six months.
Among those who haven’t received an official diagnosis (approximately 1,200 respondents), 18 percent suspect they do in fact have chronic pain. Regardless of their diagnosis, 44 percent wish their doctor would provide more pain management solutions than prescription painkillers.
Existence is pain
In fact, the average respondent feels six years older than they actually are due to aches and pains. Five or more times throughout the day, the average American can feel discomfort when they sit down or stand up.
When it comes to pain tolerance, however, it may actually be true that women tolerate pain more than men. In fact, 65 percent of respondents agree that women have a higher pain tolerance than men.
“Living with chronic pain is incredibly difficult and can truly take over a person’s life. Often the only treatment options offered to those experiencing chronic pain are medications or other treatments that may temporarily manage the symptoms, but do not address or fix the root cause of the pain,” says Axogen Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Karen Zaderej, in a statement. “Many people don’t realize that their pain may be caused by a damaged or injured peripheral nerve. If a nerve is to blame, it’s possible to resolve the pain by repairing the nerve damage through pioneering surgical nerve repair techniques and provide patients with a much more permanent solution.”
Finding an alternative to painkillers
Forty-four percent of those surveyed wish their doctor would provide them with more information regarding their aches and pains. Forty-five percent wish their doctors could do more for them than simply write them a prescription for medication.
Perhaps because of this lack of communication they’re feeling, 43 percent want to do their own research on how to better manage and treat their pain, but they don’t know where to begin.
“Many patients live with chronic and debilitating pain for years without ever realizing there could be a solution,” says Peripheral Nerve Specialist and Axogen Medical Director Ivica Ducic. “If a patient is experiencing pain for three months or longer after an injury or previous surgical procedure, it’s possible a nerve injury could be to blame. Patients should be empowered to ask their doctors about options to treat chronic pain other than prescription pain medication. Surgical nerve repair may be the appropriate solution.”