The Total Economic Burden Of Pain

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About 41% of American adults suffer from chronic pain. The total economic burden of pain in 2010 is estimated to range from $560 to $635 billion. Of these, lost productivity alone cost between $299 to $335 billion; which approximates the yearly cost of heart condition and exceeding the total cost of cancer and diabetes. On a per person basis, the incremental cost of all US health care expenditures in 2010 is $8233, moderate and severe chronic pain accounted for $4516 (55% of total) and $7726.20 (93.8% of total) respectively (Gaskin et. al. 2012). American workers with neck or back pain costs between $5574- $8512, compared to those with no neck or back pain ($3,017) (Kleinman et al 2014). Neck pain is quite common, can be burdensome, and…show more content…
Although it is recognized that an intricate relationship between the worker and workplace stressors results in neck pain, a synthesis of preventive factors or workplace interventions have not been identified to reduce this incidence (Gross et al 2013, Carroll Hurwitz et al 2008, Cote et al 2008). Traditionally, spinal problems are believed to always have specific patho-anatomic diagnoses just like other pathological conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. Articles about cervical (Boden et al 1990) and lumbar spine (Boden et al 1990, Jensen et al 1994) demonstrated multiple imaging pathologies were found in pain-free individuals, and about 65% increase of spine care cost from 1997 to 2005 has produced worse health outcomes despite imaging technological advances (Martin et al 2008). This has led to a paradigm shift that between 70-90% of neck and back problems is actually non-specific in nature (Deyo et al 2008?). The non-specific nature of neck/back pain does not mean that they all have the same clinical features. For example, the patient’s experience of pain can have different neurophysiologic pain mechanisms at work that result in substantially different clinical and financial burden (Kleinman et al 2014). These mechanisms could be nociceptive (painful sensation arising from local tissue inflammation), peripheral neuropathic sensitization (exaggerated temporal summation of painful stimulus coming from peripheral nerve tissue
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